Dominique Barreteau, 51, the only member of the family seen by neighbours in over a year, had been detained in a psychiatric hospital since the family was discovered by emergency services who responded to a call from the mother, Christine Barreteau, 47, during the night of January 4th.
The children, aged 15, 17, 19 and 20 and described as 'suffering from disabilities', were found prostrate in the mould-covered apartment in a block of social housing in the rundown port of Saint-Nazaire on France's Atlantic coast.
On Thursday, a court in the city of Nantes indicted Mr. Barreteau on charges of “rape and sexual assault” of three of his daughters.
The couple’s oldest daughter, aged 25, who no longer lives with her family, was responsible for informing police about the alleged crimes, according to a report in French daily Le Parisien on Friday.
The father was already being held in custody on charges of ‘deprivation of food and care,’ and ‘moral and material neglect’ of the children.
Christine Barreteau, was handed a four-month suspended sentence on Tuesday, also for ‘moral and material neglect.’
The charges date back to 2008, when the couple were found to have ignored the recommendations of education authorities regarding their two youngest daughters, who are reported to be disabled.
In early January, neighbours of the family were shocked to discover that the mother and children were still resident in the squalid apartment, since only Mr. Barreteau had been seen in the previous year, putting out rubbish or returning home with shopping, though he reportedly did not respond to friendly greetings.