A staunchly Protestant father of 19 children has been sent to a psychiatric clinic for observation ahead of his formal trial on child abuse charges.
Henk K, 57, is suspected of physically abusing several of his children and sexually abusing one daughter. He was arrested last September after a number of his adult children made a police complaint against him.
The family live in isolation on an industrial estate in Buschoten, a small town north of Amersfoort, where religious parties dominate in local politics. The children attend a fundamentalist Protestant school after officials intervened to stop them being educated at home.
‘It is a very religious family. The father takes all the decisions,’ RTV Utrecht reporter Mark van der Wel told tv chat show RTL Late Night on Tuesday.
According to court documents, Henk K ruled his home with an iron fist, regularly locking his children in attics, a potato shed and an old shipping container. He also beat them with pieces of wood and his fists.
In one incident, he is said to have tied one of his sons to a table and threatened him with a chain saw. K told a television show several years ago that the Bible justifies beating children.
K denies the charges and say three of the daughters went to the police out of revenge after he accused them of stealing €50,000. Seven children and their mother support K and say the charges against him are made up, the AD reported.
Formal hearings in the case start on February 22.