AN alleged rape victim of Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner has marked the anniversary of her 2004 attack in a stinging and moving social media post.
Hazel Behan – who is hoping to finally face the German sex attacker in court this year – wrote she is ‘celebrating her survival’ after 19 years.
In the horrific ordeal on the Algarve, the Irish mum was stripped naked and beaten over a four-hour period, all captured on camera.
Yet in today’s Instagram post she insisted she was ‘unbelievably proud’ she had found the strength to get over the attack, in Portimao, on June 16.
And in a pointed message to her alleged attacker – who has been charged with the attack and is currently locked up in prison for a similar rape in Portugal – she writes: ‘I am not the lonely, unloved person you are’.
“I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter, sister and friend. I laugh. I run freely without limits. I am free. So, who’s the real winner?”
She continues: “16th of June, I salute you. 19 years of saluting this life-changing date. 19 years of celebrating my survival. 19 years of getting to know the ‘new’ me. 19 years of digging deep and finding strength. 19 years of trying to forget. 19 years later, I am so unbelievably proud of myself.”
Also alluding to her expected court case, in Germany, this autumn, she writes: “You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth.”
The mother-of-three, who was working, then 20, at a bar in the Algarve resort, had been followed home by her masked attacker, who spoke in English with a German accent.
Yet, incredibly, Portuguese police failed to take her case seriously and intimated she was drunk and, therefore, ‘somehow deserved it’.
German police however, are ‘certain’ her attacker was Brueckner, who is currently serving a seven-year sentence for a similar, filmed rape with violence against an American pensioner, Diana Menkes, in nearby Praia da Luz, a year later.
He is facing four further charges this autumn, including two rapes and two child molestation cases, all in Portugal.
A separate trial over his involvement in the abduction of Madeleine McCann in 2007, is expected to take place in the spring, next year.
Recent searches around the Arade reservoir, in Portugal, found a number of ‘relevant clues’ surrounding the case.
The Olive Press visited the site where Brueckner spent considerable time at a camp, last year.
Police continue to be certain that Brueckner is guilty of the crime and have dozens of separate bits of evidence.
Behan, from Dublin, told the Olive Press today, she is hoping to get an exact date for the trial over the ‘next few weeks’.
“Brueckner’s lawyer has slowed things down by appealing whether the court in Braunschweig is the correct jurisdiction because he claims he lived in a van in a derelict factory at the time,” she said today.
“It is just slowing down the inevitable though and I am assured by my lawyers that we will definitely have our day in court sooner than later.”
She told the Olive Press last year that she was ‘very impressed’ with the detailed, painstaking way the German BKA have worked on her case.
She spent over 20 hours in ‘gruelling’ interviews, both in Ireland and Germany.
“The specific dedicated teams were so sensitive and good at taking me back to that night,” she said.
“I always said my attacker was a German with piercing blue eyes and a voice I would recognise immediately. When Brueckner’s name was released in connection to the Madeleine case and to the rape of that poor woman Diana, I knew it was him.”
She added: “I just wish I could have got the Portuguese police to do their actual jobs at the time, as if they had, Diana would not have been raped, and Madeleine would be alive today. And maybe others,” she added.
The song chosen for her moving post today, Mystery of Iniquity, by Lauryn Hill, is about a court drama, which appeals to the accused to ‘Repent and let your mind be re taught’.
It remains to be seen if Brueckner heeds it. He has denied all involvement to her case, as well as all others.
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