Woman in child sex killings wins release

Aug. 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

BRUSSELS, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A Belgian court Tuesday refused to block the early release of a woman serving time for her role in her ex-husband's child sex abuse and killings.

The Court of Cassation in Brussels, the country's appeals court, will allow the release of Michelle Martin from her 30-year prison sentence for hiding evidence and helping Marc Dutroux as he raped five teenage girls in 1985 and kidnapped six more in 1995 and 1996, killing two by locking them in a cellar to die, the Belgian news agency Flanders News reported Tuesday.

Martin, divorced from Dutroux in 2002, was aware of all the incidents but did not report any of them, investigators said. In the case of the two girls imprisoned in the cellar, each age 8, she told investigators she was afraid of "animals in the cellar that could kill her," but psychiatrists at her trial said she was aware of her actions, the news agency said.

Martin's applications for an early release were rejected three times. A fourth was suspended after the withdrawal of a French convent's offer to shelter her. If released, Martin is expected to stay at a convent in Wallonia, Belgium, the news agency said.

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