Bad, Very Bad, Fathers Not Worthy of Father's Day

This case will sound familiar: Jose Agostinho Pereira, a 54-year-old man from a remote corner of Brazil, has been charged with raping his daughter daily and abusing the seven children he fathered with her.

Headlines last week declared him the "Brazilian Fritzl" because the case was so similar to that of Josef Fritzl, a German engineer who locked his daughter in a cramped basement for 17 years, impregnating her four times.

Some fathers, it seems, are not worthy of celebration this Father's Day.

VIDEO: Josef Fritzly appears in court on charges of rape, murder and enslavement.

An estimated 772,000 children are the victims of maltreatment each year in the United States, according to the Administration for Children and Families, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

About 71 percent of these are crimes of neglect. But most are not as horrific as those committed by sadist fathers, those who derive pleasure from cruelty to others.

Psychologists say these men seek psychological domination, often lacking empathy for the emotions of others, feeling a sense of entitlement and experiencing sex not as an act of intimacy, but as purely gratification.

Police allege that for 12 years Pereira imprisoned his daughter, Sandra Maria Monteiro, now 28, in a two-room thatched hut in a small fishing village in the northeast state of Maranhao in Brazil.


She was only 12 when the abuse started, police said.

Police were tipped off by an anonymous phone call during a local campaign about pedophilia, according to Reuters. They found six of the seven children -- four girls and three boys between the ages of 2 months and 12 years old -- naked, dirty and malnourished.

Pereira, who reportedly gave a partial confession to police, had threatened to kill them if they tried to escape. He said the abuse began in 1998 after his wife left him.

Like the Fritzl children, they were barely able to communicate, speaking in growls and groans.

The alleged abuse is thought to have begun when Pereira's wife walked out on him in 1998.

Last year, an Austrian court found Josef Fritzl, now 74, guilty of locking up his daughter Elisabeth and fathering seven children with her.

The underground family sat just below Fritzl's upstairs wife and family in their home in Amstetten, Austria. When police found them, the children did not know how to speak.

Elisabeth, now 43, had been raped almost daily in the dungeon below. After her father was imprisoned for life, she started a new life with her six living children. A seventh child had died after birth and Fritzl had burned the body in the garbage incinerator.

Fritzl reportedly hatched the plot to lock up his daughter as a sex slave just after his first sexual assault, when Elisabeth was 11. Seven years later, in 1984, he drugged her with ether, dragged her downstairs and locked her up.

He reportedly handcuffed Elisabeth to a metal pole and kept her in total darkness, returning only to bring her food or to rape her. Often she had to decide whether to have sex or starve.

These crimes have also been seen in the United States.

"Genie" Wiley, born in 1957 in California, spent the first 13 years of her life confined to her bedroom, strapped to a toilet by day and bound in a sleeping bag under a metal screen in her crib at night.

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