Christian Brueckner, the suspect accused of abducting and killing Madeleine McCann, was charged with three counts of assault and three counts of child abuse. According to The Guardian, German prosecutors alleged that 45-year-old Brueckner committed the crimes in Portugal between December 2000 and June 2007.
Three-year-old Madeleine McCann was a British citizen who vanished from a resort in Portugal in 2007 while her parents were having dinner at a nearby restaurant. In 2020, German authorities announced that they were investigating Bruckner in connection with McCann's disappearance.
On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, the German public prosecutor announced that Christian Brueckner had assaulted two women between the ages of 70 and 80. The prosecutor said that Brueckner had also assaulted a 20-year-old Irish woman in her apartment in Portugal's Praia da Rocha in 2004.
According to the prosecutor's statement, Christian was the same person against whom charges were brought with regards to Madeleine McCann's disappearance. The statement continued that the accused was charged with three offenses of aggravated r*pe and two offenses of s*xual abuse of children.
Brueckner is presently serving a prison sentence in Oldenburg prison in northern Germany for assaulting a 70-year-old American woman in 2005. This was just one year after the attack on the Irish woman in 2004. The 45-year-old was convicted in 2019 and it was reported that both the crimes occurred in Portugal.
It should be noted that the new charges are not linked to Madeleine McCann’s case which still remains mired in mystery.
Details on the charges levelled against the suspect connected to Madeleine McCann's disappearance
When authorities announced that they were investigating Brueckner for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, they believed that the child was dead.
German investigators said that they were working in tandem with London's Metropolitan Police and the criminal investigation department in Portugal. The three agencies were looking to find evidence linking Brueckner to the then 3-year-old’s disappearance as he was in Portugal when she was taken from the holiday resort.
The suspect connected to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance is charged with assaulting an unidentified elderly woman and an Irish woman, Hazel Behan.
In 2020, Behan said that she had read that the suspect in Madeleine McCann's case was convicted in 2019 for assaulting an elderly woman. She noted that the details of the attack were very similar to the attack on her in 2004.
According to reports, the suspect had gained access to the women's residences and restrained and abused them both. He also recorded both the assaults with a video camera.
Hazel, who was 20 at the time of the attack on her, said:
“My mind was blown when I read how he had attacked a woman in 2005, both the tactics and the methods he used, and how well he had planned it out."
During their investigations, German prosecutors relied on the statements of two former acquaintances of Brückner, who stole tapes from his house in 2006. The videotapes reportedly captured the attacks on the women. However, the tapes were never recovered and authorities have not released the names of the witnesses.
Brückner is also charged with abusing a 14-year-old German girl in his living room in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Other charges revealed that the suspect had exposed himself to a 10-year-old German girl on a Portuguese beach in 2007. A decade later, he committed a similar crime around an 11-year-old girl at a Portuguese playground.
Prosecutors uncovered evidence of Brückner’s crimes while they were investigating him for the murder of Madeleine McCann.