Madeleine McCann suspect charged with separate sex offences

Christian Brueckner
Christian Brueckner has not been charged over Madeleine's disappearance

The prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been charged in Germany with unrelated sexual offences.

Convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner is accused of five offences between 2000 and 2017 in Portugal.

German prosecutors say the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance is ongoing separately.

Brueckner was identified as a suspect in the case in June 2020 but has denied involvement.

Investigators believe the 45-year-old killed Madeleine, then three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on 3 May 2007.

Brueckner has now been charged separately with three counts of aggravated rape and the sexual abuse of two children in Portugal over a 17-year period.

The offences he has been accused of include the rape of a German-speaking girl, believed to have been at least 14 years old, between 2000 and 2006 at his home in Praia da Luz.

In a statement, the prosecutor in Braunschweig, Germany, said: “The investigation concerning the case of Madeleine McCann is ongoing separately from these charges.

“Due to the ongoing investigation the prosecution cannot at the current time give any information on the status of that investigation.”

Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence for rape which he committed in 2005, also in Portugal, prosecutors added.

The charges in full:

  • At some point between 2000 and 2006: The rape of an unidentified woman aged between 70 and 80 in a holiday home in Portugal
  • At some point between 2000 and 2006: The rape of a German-speaking girl believed to have been at least 14 years old in his home in Praia da Luz
  • 2004: The rape of a 20-year-old Irish woman after entering her apartment in Praia da Rocha
  • 2007: The sexual abuse of a 10-year-old German girl on a beach in Salema, Faro
  • 2017: The sexual abuse of an 11-year-old Portuguese girl in a playground in Bartolomeu de Messines
Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing in 2007
Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing in 2007 (Image: PA Media)


Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was on holiday with her family at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, when she disappeared. Her whereabouts remains unknown.

The Metropolitan Police, which continues to treat the case as a missing persons inquiry, said earlier this year it was “committed” to finding the truth.

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