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husker football live radio feed:Man arrested in France for allegedly holding wife captive for 12 years

French police on Monday said they arrested a 55-year-old man after his wife claimed he had held her captive in their home for 12 years. The woman said her husband had assaulted and raped her repeatedly but officials could not immediately corroborate those claims.

Emergency services in Wiesbaden, Germany, received a phone call very early Monday morning from a woman who claimed she had been held captive and tortured by her husband since 2011.

The couple, both German nationals, lived in the village of Forbach, in the Moselle region of eastern France, just across the border from Germany.

A photograph shows the entrance door of the building where a couple lived in Forbach, eastern France, on August 7, 2023, after French police said they had arrested a 55-year-old German national who is accused of holding his 53-year-old wife captive in a flat since 2011.  JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images

German authorities contacted their French counterparts who sent police officers to the address at 6:00 a.m. local time.

The local public prosecutor told reporters the police found the 53-year-old woman in a bedroom of the apartment. She was taken to the hospital and her husband was taken into custody.

Early media reports suggested the woman was malnourished and her head had been shaved. However, the prosecutor said that the woman was being treated for cancer, and it was the cancer that had caused hair loss and left her emaciated.

Doctors who examined her in the hospital said that there were no signs of bruising on her body, and x-rays showed no traces of fractures.

The prosecutor added that there was no conclusive evidence that she was malnourished or dehydrated.

A neighbor who lives on the same floor of the apartment block told reporters that the man told everyone that his wife had cancer, which was why her head was shaved. "We never saw the wife," she said. "We heard cries sometimes, I thought it was because of the pain of the illness."

The wife told police she had been tortured, and there were early reports that her husband had a box of torture tools. But the prosecutor said that, despite a thorough search of the apartment, no such items were found. No evidence of brutality was found, he said.

The prosecutor said an investigation was underway to determine the circumstances of the woman's care and the extent of her illness, and why she told police she was being held against her will and raped and tortured. He added that, after 12 hours of investigation, it seemed unlikely that charges of false imprisonment and torture would be brought against the man.

The husband, who has denied the allegations, is not known to French police, according to the prosecutor. Inquiries have been made to German police.

The prosecutor did, however, confirm that police had been called to the home in 2019 when neighbors complained of the noise and said they were concerned she was being beaten. No action was taken at that time.

The man is being held in custody while the investigation continues.

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