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Father not prosecuted for keeping family secluded on Ruinerwold farm

The case against Gerrit Jan van D., a 68-year-old man accused of holding six of his children against their will on a farm in Ruinerwold for years, will definitely be dropped, the court ruled on Thursday. Due to the man’s poor health, he is not fit to be tried, ANP reports.

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) also asked that the case be dropped two weeks ago. The man had a brain hemorrhage a few years ago that left him with severe brain damage. Experts from the Pieter Baan Center concluded that he does not seem able to understand the process against him and is barely able to communicate.

D. is suspected of holding six of his children against their will for years on a farm on the outskirts of the Drenthe village of Ruinerwold. He was also accused of sexually abusing two of his kids.

The OM previously acknowledged that dropping the case is a slap in the face of the four oldest children, who wanted their father to be prosecuted so that a court could acknowledge their suffering.

The case against accomplice Josef B. will continue. He is also suspected of depriving Van D.’s children of their freedom. B. was the tenant of the farm and facilitated the family’s seclusion by interacting with the outside world for them, according to the authorities.