An Australian man is to appear in court in November charged with raping his daughter for nearly 30 years, a local newspaper reported Thursday. The man, believed to be in his 60s, allegedly kept his daughter as a virtual prisoner and fathered four children by her, the Sun Herald reported.
Now in her 40s, the woman was allegedly raped from the 1970s to 2007. The Herald Sun said the man discouraged the victim from making friends and threatened her with violence if she ever complained of rape.
The man will appear before Melbourne's County Court in November, where he will face charges of rape, incest and indecent assault.
The court has issued a suppression order restricting information released to the media.
Austrian Josef Fritzl kept his daughter in a dungeon under his house in Austria for 24 years.
Fritzl fathered seven children with his daughter and has recently been sentenced to life in a mental institution.
The Australian victim's mother was allegedly unaware of any abuse, even though she was in the same house until 2005.
Media reports suggest the police knew about the case as early as 2005, but the victim would not cooperate with police because she feared her father.
The newspaper reported that all the four children the woman had with her father were born with health and developmental problems.
One child died from severe developmental problems, including respiratory failure and chronic lung disease.
Australian health and welfare authorities have come under fire for not investigating the case earlier, despite previous warnings.
The abuse took place in Victoria State. Premier John Brumby voiced shock at the ''terrible case.''
''Any crime of this type is one that is shocking and is personally repulsive to me and other Victorians,'' Brumby told reporters. ''It brings to all of us the worst possible thoughts about families and what might have occurred in cases like this.''
The victim and her three children are now being cared for by the authorities.© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.