A court in the city of Brno has sentenced six people to prison for their role in a child abuse case that has shocked and mystified the country. Two young boys were systematically abused in sadistic rituals, and the six defendants apparently belonged to a secretive cult, although the court fell short of recognising a cult-related motive.
Klára Mauerová, the two boys’ mother, found guilty of repeated abuse with severe cruelty, grievous bodily harm and depriving the boys of their freedom. She was sent to a high security prison for nine years.
Kateřina Mauerová, the boys’ aunt, also found guilty of repeated abuse with severe cruelty, grievous bodily harm, depriving the boys of their freedom and giving false testimony. She was sent to a high security prison for ten years
Barbora Škrlová – the mysterious “Anička”, the woman who masqueraded as Klára Mauerová’s adopted daughter before disappearing, resurfacing in Norway where she posed as a schoolboy. She was found guilty of repeated abuse with severe cruelty and sentenced to five years in prison.
Three others, including Hana Bašová, known as “Auntie Nency”, Jan Škrla - Barbora Škrlová’s brother, and one other man, Jan Turek, were also sent to prison on abuse charges.
The case came to light in May 2007, when a man installing a wireless baby monitoring camera discovered after switching it on that it was picking up a signal from the house next door. The house belonged to Klára Mauerová, and the grainy black and white images showed a young boy, naked and bound, locked in a broom cupboard.
The police arrived, arrested Klára Mauerová, and took the boys into protective custody. Gradually it emerged that the boys had been horribly abused, and not just by Klára Mauerová, but also by her sister Kateřina. However the greatest interest was in the mysterious Barbora Škrlová, whom Klára claimed was her 12-year-old adopted daughter, but who was in reality an adult woman.
Barbora Škrlová always maintained she herself was the victim of abuse, saying she was exposed to horrific sexual and physical abuse by a series of unknown men in various locations. The court rejected that, ruling Barbora had in fact conspired with Kateřina Mauerová – identified as the initiator of the abuse - to infiltrate Klára Mauerová‘s family and herself shared in abusing the two boys by repeatedly dunking their heads underwater.
The case still leaves several questions unanswered, especially the cult aspect. The judge said in his closing remarks the abuse had amounted to the “deliberate destruction of a child’s soul”, but said while there were indications of cult involvement, there was no proof.
Klára Mauerová claimed she received instructions from a mysterious man
nicknamed “The Doctor”, later naming someone from Azerbaijan. But
according to both the Czech police and Interpol, the man did not exist.
They’re also no wiser as to the possible involvement of Barbora
Škrlová’s father Josef Škrla – who belonged to the Czech branch of a
cult called the Grail Movement, left that cult to form a breakaway cult of
his own, had business dealings in Azerbaijan, and whose whereabouts remain
a mystery. Is he “The Doctor?” We’ll probably never know.
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