Diemen man forced Brazilian woman's abortion because he wanted a girl, Prosecutor says

Dennis van E. forced his 8 months pregnant Brazilian girlfriend to drink abortion pills because she was pregnant with a boy and he wanted a daughter, the Public Prosecutor said during the first proforma hearing in the case against the 48-year-old financial expert from Diemen on Friday, AD reports. 

Patricia de Oliveira Santos, 32, and her baby boy were found dead in Van E.'s Diemen apartment in October last year. Van E. is facing accusations of aggravated abortion and manslaughter. According to the Public Prosecutor, Van E. gave Patricia drugs and abortion pills, after which her baby was stillborn and she died of bleeding. 

Van E. attended the hearing on Friday morning. In court he said that Patricia wanted the abortion, and that he has many thousands of text messages to prove that. "The suspicion is wrong, this was a terrible tragedy," he said in court. He said that his girlfriend was suffering from a venereal disease and had heart problems, that she bought the abortion pills herself, and that she attempted to abort the baby at least four times in Brazil. The abortion had to be a secret from her family, he said. According to Van E., he merely "supported" her.

But the text messages the Public Prosecution Service has in its possession tell a different tale. According to the Prosecutor, these show that Van E. put a lot of pressure on Patricia to get an abortion because she was having a boy. "And I have no feeing about a boy," the Prosecutor quoted a message from Van E. A girl would make him happy, he said. He told her that they'd break up if it was a boy. "So action girl!" the prosecutor quoted anther message. Patricia eventually seemed to want the same thing, but that was under severe pressure from Van E., the Prosecutor said.

If the woman attempted to abort her baby in Brazil - something the Prosecutor is by no means sure of - it was because Van E. put so much pressure on her to do so, the Prosecutor said. Patricia messaged Van E. that she did not have money for abortion pills and "not even for food". Van E. replied that he will only "send money again" after she bought abortion pills. He increased the pressure on her in every conceivable way, the Prosecutor said. "He just ordered her," the Prosecutor said. "What is striking is that he commands and she is submissive."

The Prosecutor also quoted from messages Patricia sent her sister while she was in the Netherlands. These messages show that Patricia was afraid of Van E., of the drugs she had to take. She called him "demonic". The Prosecutor quoted: "He doesn't want a boy and if I get pregnant again, it's only allowed to be a girl."

Van E.'s lawyer asked the court allow his client to await his trail in freedom. But the court remanded Van E. into custody until his next hearing, scheduled for  March 27th. 

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