An Austrian court says convicted rapist Josef Fritzl can be transferred from psychiatric custody to prison

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian judges have ruled that a man who held his daughter captive for 24 years, raped her thousands of times and fathered seven children with her can be moved from psychiatric custody to a regular prison, a court said on Tuesday with.

Monday’s decision was the latest in a legal back and forth over Josef Fritzl’s future.

The Krems regional court said in a statement that the 89-year-old could be transferred because he no longer poses a danger that would require psychiatric care. The decision was based on an April 30 hearing with Fritzl and reports from forensic and psychiatric experts.

Due to Fritzl’s progressive dementia and physical deterioration, psychiatric care for his “combined personality disorder” is no longer necessary, as there is no longer any risk that Fritzl will commit serious crimes, the court said.

The court said Fritzl could be sent to prison for a 10-year probationary period, but he could not be released from custody entirely.

Prosecutors appealed an earlier decision to transfer Fritzl to a regular prison in January, and both sides also have the right to appeal the latest decision.

His crime came to light in 2008 and he was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 for incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment and enslavement of his daughter, and negligent homicide of one of his young sons.

Fritzl became known as the “Monster of Amstetten” after he locked his then 18-year-old daughter in a soundproof basement of his home in the northern Austrian city in 1984.

Over the next 24 years he raped her repeatedly and fathered seven children with her, one of whom died.