21:47 GMT12 May 2021
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    Christian Brueckner had previous convictions for 'sexual contact with girls' and is serving a seven-year sentence for raping an elderly US woman in 2005. Victim Hazel Behan came forward in 2020 after noticing stark similarities between that case and the assault she suffered in 2004.

    The German suspect in Madeleine McCann's murder could soon face trial for the rape of an Irish holiday rep in a nearby Portuguese coastal resort three years earlier.

    Police hope to charge Christian Brueckner in the next 12 weeks with the 2004 rape of Hazel Behan, then 20 years old, at her apartment in Praia da Rocha in the southern Algarve region, the Mail Online reported.

    The resort is mere miles east along the coast from Praia da Luz, where Maddie McCann disappeared in 2007.

    Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence for raping a 72-year-old US woman in 2005. In June last year he was named as the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of the three-year-old daughter of two British doctors.

    German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said he was "hopeful for a charge". He added that there were clear parallels between the rapes of Behan, the US woman and the "abduction and murder of Madeleine McCann".

    "In each case the person has come into the person's apartment or property by breaking and entering, often not through the door," Wolters said.

    Brueckner was a resident of the Algarve for a large part of the period from 1995 to 2007. He had two previous convictions for "sexual contact with girls", and is known to have burgled hotel rooms and holiday apartments.

    Behan came forward publicly in June 2020 to ask police to reopen her case after noticing uncanny similarities to the crime Brueckner was convicted of in December 2019. 

    "My mind was blown when I read how he had attacked a woman in 2005, both the tactics and the methods he used, the tools he had with him, how well he had planned it out," she told The Guardian at the time. "I puked, to be honest with you, as reading about it took me right back to my experience."

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    Tags:
    disappearance, Kidnapping, Rape, Germany, Portugal
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