French police have arrested a 55-year-old man after his wife alleged that he had held her captive in their home for over a decade. The woman, who reported repeated assaults and rapes, awaits corroboration of her claims. The incident came to light when emergency services in Wiesbaden, Germany, received a distress call from the victim, who stated that she had been held captive and tortured by her husband since 2011. Both German nationals, the couple resided in the village of Forbach, located in the Moselle region of eastern France, near the German border. French authorities were alerted by their German counterparts and promptly dispatched police officers to the scene.
Upon arrival at the address at 6:00 a.m. local time, the police discovered the 53-year-old woman in a bedroom of the apartment. She was subsequently taken to the hospital, while her husband was taken into custody. Initial reports suggested that the woman was malnourished and had her head shaved, leading to speculation of abuse. However, the local public prosecutor clarified that the woman was undergoing treatment for cancer, which explained her hair loss and emaciated appearance. Medical examinations revealed no signs of physical abuse, with no bruises or fractures detected. The prosecutor emphasized that there was no conclusive evidence of malnourishment or dehydration.
A neighbor residing on the same floor of the apartment building stated that the husband had informed everyone about his wife’s cancer, justifying her shaved head. The neighbor admitted to hearing occasional cries but attributed them to the pain associated with the illness. The wife alleged torture, and early reports suggested the presence of a box containing torture tools. However, a thorough search of the apartment yielded no such items, and no evidence of brutality was found.
The prosecutor confirmed an ongoing investigation to ascertain the woman’s care, the extent of her illness, and the reasons behind her claims of captivity, rape, and torture. After 12 hours of investigation, it appeared unlikely that the man would face charges of false imprisonment and torture.
The husband, who denies all allegations, is not known to French police, according to the prosecutor. Inquiries have been made to German authorities regarding any previous incidents. Notably, police had been called to the couple’s home in 2019 due to noise complaints and concerns of domestic violence, but no action was taken at that time. The man is still in police custody as the investigation continues.