The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007 has been charged in Germany with several sexual offences allegedly committed in Portugal.
Christian B allegedly committed the offences between 2000 and 2017, German prosecutors said.
The prosecutor’s office said the charges do not relate to the McCann case.
Madeleine was on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz in the Algarve region of Portugal in 2007 when she went missing from their holiday apartment.
Investigators believe the 45-year-old convicted sex offender killed Madeleine after abducting her. He has denied any involvement in the case, and was identified as a suspect by Portuguese officials in June 2020.
He is behind bars in Germany for raping a woman in the same area of the Algarve region of Portugal where Madeleine went missing in 2007.
Prosecutors say the sexual offence charges include three counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual abuse of children. They say he filmed the rapes.
The charges include:
- Raping and beating a 70 to 80-year-old woman at her holiday flat in Portugal at an unspecified time between December 2000 and April 2006
- Beating and forcing a girl aged over 14 to perform a sex act sometime between December 2000 and April 2006 at his house in Praia da Luz, Portugal
- Raping a 20-year-old woman from Ireland and performing a sex act on her at a flat in Praia da Rocha in Portugal on 16 June 2004
- Exposing himself to a 10-year-old German girl at a beach in Salema in the district of Faro in Portugal on 7 April 2007
- Exposing himself to an 11-year-old Portuguese girl at a playground in Bartolomeu de Messines in Portugal on 11 June 2017
The investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance is continuing irrespective of the charges brought, prosecutors said.
The Federal Criminal Police Office and the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig issued a new request to the public for assistance with the McCann case.
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.