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Colombian Farmer Allegedly Fathered 8 Children With Daughter

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BOGOTA — A 59-year-old Colombian farmer accused of incest for allegedly fathering eight children with his daughter denies that he is the woman's biological father, an official familiar with the case said Sunday.

Arcebio Alvarez, a widower, was arrested Friday on charges of incest and sexual abuse, according to Bogota councilwoman Gilma Jimenez, a specialist in family-abuse issues who filed the complaint in the case.

She said Alvarez maintains his innocence and says that he is the stepfather of the now 35-year-old woman who allegedly fathered eight of his children after 14 pregnancies. The alleged victim was 5 when her mother died and 13 when her first child was born, Jimenez said.

Federal prosecutors and court officials in the town of Honda where Alvarez is being held could not be reached.

The case has drawn comparisons to that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man recently convicted of holding his daughter captive for 24 years in the basement of his house and fathering her seven children.

On Saturday, an angry crowd gathered outside a court hearing for Alvarez, hurling insults and death threats at the suspect as he was led back to jail in handcuffs.

Alvarez lived on a small ranch near Honda located about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Bogota.

Jimenez said the woman came forward after one of her sons expressed angry intentions toward his father and alleged grandfather.

"She loves her father. She hates the man who became her partner," said Jimenez of the victim. "This causes submission and something that is difficult to understand. It's something very complicated."

The woman and her younger children were taken to Colombia's Family Welfare Institute for shelter and counseling.