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Zurich Businessman Admits Torturing Swiss Children

June 28, 1993

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ A Swiss businessman on Monday admitted sexually torturing Swiss children and recording the stomach-turning scenes on videotape.

Rene Osterwalder told a Dutch court that the videotapes depicted ″criminal acts which I have committed in Switzerland, which I regret and still do not understand.″

Osterwalder and his girlfriend, Augusta Schoenenberger, face extradition to Switzerland pending outcome of their Amsterdam trial. Both are charged in the Netherlands with attempted abduction, conspiracy, possession of illegal weapons and child pornography.

Osterwalder, 38, has pleaded innocent to charges of attempted abduction but has yet to enter a plea to the other Dutch charges.

Schoenenberger, a 22-year-old law student, told the court the charges in her indictment are ″partly true,″ but did not specify which charges.

On Jan. 18, police raided the couple’s Amsterdam apartment and found six homemade pornographic videocassettes hidden above the ceiling.

According to court documents, the tapes show two girls, a 6-month-old infant and a 2-year-old toddler, enduring electric shocks, needles to their genital areas and suffocation. A 12-month-old boy was also sexually abused.

The fate of the children is unclear and is not mentioned in any of the trial documents.

In an deposition read by presiding Judge R. van Os-Lang, Schoenenberger says Osterwalder is naked in the tapes.

Police confiscated an Uzi submachine gun, two handguns, an array of gynecological instruments, a collection of child pornography films and an aquarium containing a dozen piranhas from their apartment.

Osterwalder and Schoenenberger moved to Amsterdam last year after Swiss authorities began pursuing them.

Dutch authorities say the couple drove several times through the Netherlands backwoods in a failed attempt to abduct Dutch children. It is not clear how the children were abducted in Switzerland.

Osterwalder told the court he pursued several Dutch youngsters, but denied any intent to kidnap them. He said the thought in itself was ″sexually exciting.″

″I know I am sexually abnormal ... It was my sick fantasy,″ Osterwalder said through a translator.

Schoenenberger claimed she never saw the videotapes before moving to Amsterdam, and that he intimidated her into silently ″accepting him the way he is.″

After saying that she still fears Osterwalder, Schoenenberger denied nearly everything contained in her earlier statements to police.

In those depositions, she quotes Osterwalder as saying he wanted to torture and murder several Dutch children, and feed their bodies to the piranhas.

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