Man Who Locked Daughter in Basement for 24 Years and Fathered 7 Children with Her Could Be Eligible for Parole

Josef Fritzl, 88, held his daughter captive for 24 years before his arrest in 2008

<p>ROBERT JAEGER/AFP via Getty</p> Josef Fritzl


Josef Fritzl
  • Josef Fritzl was convicted of imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering seven children with her

  • Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison in Austria and has been held in a special unit for the criminally insane

  • If Fritzl is moved to a different prison unit, he could apply for release

An Austrian man who kept his daughter as a prisoner for 24 years and had seven children with her might soon be able to apply for release.

Josef Fritzl, 88, was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 after he was convicted of incest, rape, coercion, false imprisonment, enslavement and negligent homicide for the death of one off his infant children, Reuters reported.

Now, after spending the last 15 years in a special prison unit for the criminally insane, Fritzl could potentially be transferred to a different prison, which would allow him to apply for release from prison, Reuters reported, as well as Austrian outlets Die Presse and Der Standard, among others. In Austria, prisoners are eligible to apply for release after 15 years behind bars.

Reuters, citing a court spokesperson, reported that an expert’s opinion on Fritzl’s medical condition is being assessed to see if he can be transferred, but that the process could take months.

Fritzl’s lawyer, Astrid Wagner, told Sky News that she hopes to have Fritzl moved to a nursing home.

<p>APA via Getty</p> Josef Fritzl

APA via Getty

Josef Fritzl

Fritzl, who reportedly now goes by a different name, imprisoned his daughter Elisabeth in his family’s basement when she was 18. He fathered seven children with her, three of whom stayed with Elisabeth in the basement, while three others were fostered by Fritzl and his wife.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

The seventh child died shortly after birth and was cremated by Fritzl, according to reports.

The abuse was revealed in 2008, The New York Times reported, when Elisabeth was 42 and her eldest daughter needed medical attention.

At the time, police said Fritzl’s wife had no idea her daughter was being held captive, believing Elisabeth had joined a cult, the outlet reported.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.