Crime

Man Used Den Behind Fridge To Rape Girl

| by Sheena Vasani

A British father of six used a "hidey hole" behind his refrigerator to sexually abuse and hide a 14-year-old girl from police.

Already a rape victim before 57-year-old Michael Dunn befriended her in the 1990s, Dunn won her trust by helping her report the abuse, reports The Guardian.

The teenager would often run away from her foster home to meet with Dunn before he began molesting her himself, hiding her from police behind the fridge nine times.

She was only one of many women and children Dunn, who was sentenced to 27 years in prison on March 1, molested and used as sex slaves over a span of 40 years.

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"He turned his home into a prison," said prosecutor Richard Bennett. "They would be locked in these rooms, there were padlocks on the doors and [closed-circuit camera] monitoring outside the bedrooms, allowing him to monitor movement inside the house."

The police are also being scrutinized over their lack of action on Dunn.

Robert Dunn, Michael's brother, says he told Manchester police about his brother's sexual abuse years ago. A victim also came forward in 1993, but police did not make a conviction until more than a decade later.

Robert and the victim said the police refused to believe either of them.

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"The matter was reported to the police in Manchester but I was not believed by the police or the social services," said the victim. "It meant I had no self-worth, I felt that if no one believed me it meant that any man could do whatever they wanted to me."

The case has disturbed many, triggering debate over the judge's sentence.

Some Reddit users felt sentencing Dunn to 27 years behind bars for four decades of abuse was too light a sentence.

"I'm usually not the 'death penalty' sorta guy, but I think I can make an exception," wrote one user.

Others thought differently.

"The thing is pursuing the death penalty is so costly and difficult, when the 27 years is easy to obtain and essentially serves to prevent the man from hurting anyone else in prison, since he will likely die in there or be too old to do anything when he gets out at 80+," said another. "Bonus points that even if he does get out, he'll be poor and destitute and likely homeless. Plus he'll be miserable and essentially tortured in prison as a pedophile."

The U.K. abolished the death penalty in 1998 and has not executed anyone since 1964.

Sources: The Guardian, Reddit / Photo credit: Cleveland Police via The Guardian

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