THE Dutchman freed after serving 12 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit has spoken of his ‘hell’ in Spanish jails.
Romano van der Dussen was released from a Palma de Mallorca prison on February 1.
The 42-year-old was convicted on three counts of sexual assault in 2005 and sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison.
But DNA evidence revealed that a British man, Mark Dixie, was the culprit in one of the Fuengirola attacks.
“How do you get over being treated like trash for so many years? On my first day in jail I was beaten up so badly I spent the next three weeks in the hospital wing,” he said.
“The guards knew they couldn’t guarantee my safety, so I had to be put in solitary.
“For 18 months I was alone for 23 hours a day, going crazy, living through a nightmare.”
Van der Dussen, whose mother died during his imprisonment, is currently living in a Church-run halfway house in Palma de Mallorca.
It will be months before he can claim compensation.
“If the police investigation had been carried out properly, I wouldn’t have spent 12 years in jail, and could have kissed my mother before she died and seen my daughter grow up. None of this should have happened,” he said.