Prosecutor wants to drop case against Ruinerwold father of secluded family


The Public Prosecution Service (OM) wants to drop the case against Gerrit Jan van D., the main suspect in the case around a family found living in complete isolation on a farm near Ruinerwold in 2019. The man’s brain damage means that he cannot understand his process properly and is hardly able to communicate. The OM therefore sees no point in continuing prosecution, it said in court on Thursday, reports.

The court will decide next week whether or not the case against Van D. will continue. The man is suspected of holding six of his children on the Drenthe farm against their will, and sexually abusing two of his children.

Van D. suffered a severe brain hemorrhage in 2016, which caused a lot of damage to his left hemisphere. Experts from the Pieter Baan Center concluded that he is able to answer simple yes or no questions by gesturing, but it is not clear whether he actually understands the questions. The experts concluded that he is unable to stand trial.

After questions from the court, the experts said that it is unlikely the man’s condition will improve drastically in the near future. Most recovery occurs within a year of a brain injury.

A second suspect in this case is Josef B., the tenant of the farm. He is also suspected of depriving Van D.’s children of their freedom.