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NJ man accused of raping, beating 5 daughters
A New Jersey man with apocalyptic visions is accused of years of terrorizing his family, raping his five daughters and impregnating three, beating his children with wooden boards and even moving at one point to avoid child welfare investigators.
The nightmarish picture of a family subjected to more than a decade of threats and violence and largely cut off from the outside world is emerging in a state courthouse where prosecutors are preparing to have the man stand trial five times, one per child victim.
As the first case nears trial, questions have been raised about whether state authorities could have put a stop to the abuse sooner. Some of the crimes are alleged to have occurred while the family was under scrutiny by the state child welfare agency, and after the father had been arrested and pleaded guilty to assault and child endangerment.
At a hearing last week, the 51-year-old man's former wife described in a calm voice her marriage to a man whose visions she said drove him to try to create "pure" family bloodlines by impregnating several of his teenager daughters.
"He said the world was going to end and it was just going to be him and his offspring and that he was chosen," the woman testified.
Arrested in 2006, he stands accused of raping five of his daughters, three of whom are believed to have given birth to a total of six children. He is being held on $1 million bond.
Having been ruled competent to stand trial earlier this year, he faces 27 charges including aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, lewdness, child endangerment, aggravated criminal sexual contact and criminal sexual contact.
"We plan to proceed with all five trials if necessary," said Lisa Squitieri, the Passaic County prosecutor handling the case.
The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes and is not reporting the names of the husband and wife to protect the identities of their children, now all over 18 years of age.
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