Madeleine McCann suspect set to be charged with raping Irish tour rep

Leah Sinclair
·2-min read
Christian Brueckner (AFP PHOTO/ ITALIAN CARABINIERI)
Christian Brueckner (AFP PHOTO/ ITALIAN CARABINIERI)

The main suspect in the Madeleine McCann case is likely to be charged with the rape of an Irish holiday representative in 2004.

Christian Brueckner is suspected of sexually assaulting Hazel Behan in her apartment in a Portuguese resort only half an hour from where Madeleine was last seen.

Ms Behan was attacked by a masked man and subjected to a sexual assault that lasted four to five hours.

The man allegedly set up a video camera, dragged her to the living room, tied her to the breakfast bar and produced a bag of whips and chains.

Ms Behan said the man had spoken English with a German accent and was around 6ft 1in with blond hair - a description that matches Brueckner.

PA
PA

German federal police, who are leading the inquiry into Brueckner, hope to charge him with raping Ms Behan “in the next three months”, the Times reports.

In an interview with the Guardian, Ms Behan said that her attacker “had a plan” and was “very deliberate”.

She said he cleaned his hands and frequently changed condoms during the attack, adding: “I thought that was it, my life was over.”

German prosecutors stated last year that they have evidence that Brueckner abducted and murdered three-year-old Madeleine, and are developing a case.

Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor leading the inquiry, told the Times: “The case against the suspect Christian B for the rape of Hazel Behan is in a good way, and it may be that we can charge him in the next three months. I am very hopeful for a charge on this case.

“We are building a picture of Christian B and the methods he uses to commit his crimes. There are parallels with the case of the American tourist who was raped, the attack on Hazel Behan, and the abduction and murder of Madeleine McCann.

“In each case the person has come into the person’s apartment or property by breaking and entering, often not through the door.”

Asked whether that meant police thought Madeleine’s abductor entered the McCanns’ hotel apartment using the window, rather than the unlocked patio doors, Mr Wolters said: “I can’t comment.”

He added that he hoped to resolve the Madeleine case “by this year”.

Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, is currently serving a prison sentence in Germany after raping a 72-year-old US tourist in Praia da Luz.

The victim’s flat was on route between his house and a beach he used to visit in 2005.

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