(c) Marcel van den Bergh / Hollandse Hoogte

Flemish actor (51) questioned about suspected child rape

A criminal investigation has been launched by the Antwerp Judicial Authorities into allegations of the rape of minors by a 51-year-old actor. The daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reports that the actor has played roles in several television series for children as well as a number of children’s films. 

The investigation was launched after information was passed to the Judicial Authorities by ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’. 

Together with a Dutch undercover journalist, the paper followed the man for several months. The Antwerp Judicial Authorities' spokesman Kristof Aerts told VRT News that “The Antwerp Judicial Authorities got to work straight away with the information received from DPG”. DPG is the media group that includes the dailies ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ and ‘De Morgen’ and the commercial broadcaster VTM.

“After an initial analysis of whether criminal acts had been perpetrated, the Judicial Authorities decided to appoint an Examining Magistrate to an investigation into the rape of minors”.

“Due to the seriousness of the allegations, we took action straight away”, Mr Aerts added.

On Friday 23 July the suspect was apprehended and questioned by Antwerp police for the first time. In addition to this a property has been searched and some items had been confiscated. The Examining Magistrate released the man after questioning. 

“We will look into what steps we will take”

DPG Media’s Spokeswoman An Goovaerts told journalists that "The situation is very serious. During the coming hours and days, we will look into what this involves and how the criminal investigation progresses”.

Currently, the actor is not working on any projects for DPG Media. The media group will look into what is to be done with material in which the actor has featured in the past.  

The man has also play roles in VRT productions. The VRT’s Spokesman Hans Van Goethem said “Here at the VRT we are also aware of the investigation. If we are given additional information, we will take appropriate measures”. 

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