The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been charged with several sex offences, German prosecutors said.
Convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner is accused of committing five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal, the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig said, with the charges not related to the McCann case.
Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, then three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.
Her parents Kate and Gerry, who is from Glasgow, failed in a libel claim against a retired Portuguese detective over comments the couple were involved in her disappearance last month.
Brueckner was charged with the alleged rape of a woman in her 70s at her holiday apartment in Portugal on an unknown date between 2000 and 2006, and the alleged rape of a 20-year-old Irish woman in Praia da Rocha in 2004.
Brueckner is also alleged to have orally raped a teenage girl in her home in Praia da Luz after tying her up and whipping her on an unknown date between 2000 and 2006. He is claimed to have filmed the incidents.
He allegedly exposed himself to a ten-year-old German girl in Faro in 2007 and to a 11-year old Portuguese girl in Bartolomeu de Messines in 2017.
Brueckner, who has reportedly denied any involvement in the case, was identified as a suspect in the McCann case by Portuguese officials in June 2020.
He is serving a seven-year sentence for rape in Portugal in 2005.
Earlier this year, on the 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, her parents said it is “essential” to learn the truth of what happened to their daughter.
On the same day, the Metropolitan Police, which continues to treat the case as a missing persons inquiry, said it is “committed” to finding the truth.
In July 2013, Scotland Yard launched its own investigation, Operation Grange, into Madeleine’s disappearance.