Religious scholar can't be prosecuted for rape because of dementia: expert

A 74-year-old Islamic scholar from Oudenbosch can't be prosecuted for rape, abuse and threats because he suffers from dementia, an expert concluded after examining the man. The neurologist, psychiatrist and psychologist presented his conclusions in the court in Breda on Monday, Omroep Brabant reports.

The man is suspected of raping one of his stepchildren multiple times, and of abusing and threatening his ex-wife and stepchildren for years. His lawyer claimed that the man, currently in custody in the prison in Vught, does not understand the lawsuit against him, because he is suffering from dementia. 

The expert who examined him, agreed that the suspect is suffering from a form of dementia. "The disorder is so serious that the man is unable to understand his criminal case and investigation", the expert said in court.

The judge therefore decided to suspend the criminal proceedings against the suspect until his condition improves, according to the broadcaster. But as dementia is a progressive and currently irreversible disorder, and given the suspect's age, this will likely never happen. 

The Public Prosecutor fears that the risk of recurrence is very high in the case of this suspect. The Prosecutor therefore wants the man to be examined by an independent psychiatrist and admitted to a clinic. The court will decide in January whether the man will stay in custody.