A 48-year-old German man went on trial on Tuesday charged with raping and beating his daughters and stepson and fathering eight children by his stepdaughter in a 20-year reign of terror in a small village.
Detlef S., a truck driver, admitted at the start of the trial in Koblenz that he was the father of his stepdaughter's seven children -- an eighth had died of cot death. The statement was academic -- a DNA test had already established with 99.9 percent certainty that he was the father.
He has been charged with 350 cases of sexually abusing his two stepchildren and his biological daughter, according to Spiegel Online.
A verdict is expected on February 25. S. faces 15 years behind bars if convicted.
The stepson, identified as Bjoern, told reporters outside the courthouse that authorities had failed to do their job properly and missed telltale signs of abuse in the house, alleged to have gone on between 1987 to 2010.
"If you are a trained social worker you are supposed to go there and interview the victims without the perpetrator being present, and not all together," he said.
The stepdaughter, named in media reports as Natasha, told reporters as the trial opened: "I hope he gets the right sentence and that he can never hurt anyone again."
The man was arrested on August 10, 2010 and has been in custody since, Expatica Germany.
But his lawyer, Thomas Dueber, told the court: "He would like to clarify that he is the father of the seven children of the co-plaintiff (his stepdaughter). But he denies the charges made against him," The Local.de says.