Madeleine McCann's parents and prime suspect

Madeleine McCann suspect charged with child sex crimes as disappearance update issued

Prosecutors are 'hopeful' of a Maddie charge

The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann disappearance has been charged with sex crimes against children.

Christian Brueckner is currently in jail serving seven years for the rape of an elderly woman in her home in Praia da Luz in 2005.

He has reportedly denied kidnapping Madeleine.

Brueckner was identified as a suspect in the McCann case by Portuguese officials in June 2020.

Madeline McCann's parents with their book
The parents of Madeline McCann have never given up hope (Credit: Splash News)

Madeleine McCann suspect charged with child sex offences

According to the Daily Mail, Brueckner has been charged with a string of sex crimes, some on girls as young as 10.

Among the allegations are the rape of two unknown women in Portugal, the rape of an Irish woman in 2004 and two sexual abuse claims.

One is said to have taken place in April 2007 on a Portuguese beach close to where Madeleine vanished just a month later.

The offences are said to have taken place between December 2000 and June 2017, when Brueckner was travelling between his native Germany and Portugal.

It’s claimed the charges in relation to the two unknown women came about after police were told about a video recording of Brueckner allegedly attacking them.

It’s claimed two key witnesses and former friends of Brueckner stole the camera containing the recording.

Sexual assault on 10 year old

On another day between the same dates he is accused of raping an unknown 14-year-old German-speaking girl. This is said to have taken place at his home in Praia da Luz.

In April 2007, he allegedly ambushed a German girl, aged 10, who was playing on the beach.

It’s claimed he was naked apart from his shoes. And it’s alleged he forced her to watch him perform a sex act.

Then, 10 years later, he is alleged to have carried out a similar attack at a playground in Portugal. He was arrested by local police.

However, none of the charges brought relate to Madeleine’s case.

Madeline McCann's parents wat a remembrance event
Kate and Gerry recently marked the 15th anniversary of her disappearance (Credit: Splash News)

Charges brought against Madeleine suspect

However, it was confirmed by the prosecutor’s office that the accused was the same person under investigation in connection with her disappearance.

We don’t know how it will end, for the time being it is still open.

“Specifically, the accused is charged with three offences of aggravated rape and two offences of sexual abuse of children.

“The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues,” a statement said.

The case against Brueckner is expected to start next spring.

Madeleine update issued by prosecutor

Meanwhile, an update in the Madeleine McCann case was offered by prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters.

He told MailOnline: “We hope that we can put all our energy into the McCann case once the other investigations have ended.

“But we don’t know how it will end, for the time being it is still open, maybe we can bring a charge, maybe we can’t. But we are still hopeful,” he then added.

Meanwhile, Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry recently marked 15 years since her disappearance.

Read more: Parents of Madeleine McCann break silence over claims they hampered search for daughter

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor