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Wife locked in cellar for 16 years

The Sun
31 January 2011 | Latin America & Caribbean
Joao Batista Groppo is believed to have kept his wife in a cellar for 16 years
Joao Batista Groppo is believed to have kept his wife in a cellar for 16 years

A Husband has been arrested on suspicion of keeping his wife locked in their cellar for 16 years while he lived with another woman.

Sebastiana Aparecida Groppo, 64, was found in the filthy basement of the house in Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil, by police acting on a tip-off.

They arrested her husband Joao Batista Groppo, also 64, and the woman who had been living with him on charges of illegal imprisonment on Wednesday.

Mrs Groppo's cell measured only 12 metres square and was littered with faeces and dead cockroaches.

Sorocaba Police Inspector Ana Luiza Salomone said: "She was found without clothes, wrapped up in a blanket.

"The windows had been shuttered and were covered in mould.

"Groppo had apparently kept his wife imprisoned for two periods totalling 16 years, the second coming after 2003 when their son died in an accident."

He told police that he had locked up his wife of 42 years because she was mentally ill and aggressive.

But Inspector Ana Luiza Salomone said while she had showed some signs of mental problems, they could have been caused by the cruelty she suffered.

She added: "Groppo and his companion could face up to eight years in prison.

"His wife showed no signs of being aggressive and had no serious health problems."

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