crimesider

Swiss Man Admits to Abusing 100 Handicapped Children

(AP Photo, file)
Swiss Man Admits to Abusing 100 Handicapped Children
(AP Photo, file)

(CBS/AP) A Swiss man has admitted sexually abusing over 100 special needs children in care homes in Switzerland and Germany over a period of 29 years, according to police.

The abuse took place in nine different care homes where the unidentified 54-year-old man had worked as a therapist since 1982, police in the canton of Bern said.

The man was arrested in April 2010 and has been detained since, but authorities only released details of the case Tuesday to prevent the investigation from being impeded by media interest, police said.

The head of Bern police's special investigations unit, Gabriele Berger, told a news conference in Bern that the evidence against the man includes photos and hours of video recording the abuse.

The man admitted sexually abusing 114 mentally handicapped children, some of whom also were physically impaired, police said. He also admitted eight further cases of attempted abuse, authorities said.

"One of the central questions of this investigation is how such levels of abuse could go undetected for so long," said Berger.

The man had been investigated on allegations of sex abuse in 2003, but that probe was dropped due to conflicting evidence, she said, adding that that case would be reopened.