Maddie McCann suspect 'performed sex act in front of girl' before Brit vanished

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Maddie McCann suspect 'performed sex act in front of girl' before Brit vanished

A paedophile suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann is alleged to have performed a sex act in front of a young girl a month before the Brit vanished.

Christian Brueckner, now 43, is alleged to have exposed himself to a 10-year-old German girl when the youngster was on holiday with her family in Portugal’s Algarve in April 2007.

The following month, Madeleine went missing from her family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz, just days before her fourth birthday. Her body has never been found.

Brueckner, a German drifter who was living in the Algarve at the time, is suspected of abducting and murdering Madeleine, but German prosecutors have admitted they do not have enough evidence to charge him.

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German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the investigation against Brueckner, told Sky News that his office is looking into whether the paedophile committed other crimes in the Algarve.

He is suspected of masturbating in front of a girl, who was with her family, at Salema Beach, about half a mile from Praia da Luz. The alleged victim is now 23 and has spoken to German investigators.

Mr Wolters said: “In this case of 2007 he is suspected of showing himself in a sexual, offensive way in front of a 10-year-old German child on a beach.

“I cannot say exactly if he was masturbating in front of the child or if he has just shown himself naked.

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“In Germany that is a sexual abuse of a child – and that’s why we are investigating. But he is just a suspect, we haven’t charged him, so I cannot say anything about how this investigation will end.”

In a separate interview, Mr Wolters told Portugal’s RTP TV that Brueckner was “suspected of masturbating in front of the girl”.

Brueckner is aware of the second investigation, as the files have been sent to his lawyer, said Mr Wolters.

The original investigation was closed without a suspect.

However, it was re-opened after the girl’s mum contacted police when Brueckner was named the prime suspect in the McCann case earlier this year, Sky News reported.

Brueckner has denied any involvement in Maddie’s disappearance, his lawyer has said.

The paedophile is in a prison in Kiel, northern Germany, for drug trafficking and raping a 72-year-old American woman in the Algarve.

He was jailed for seven years for the attack and 21 months for drug trafficking.

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The rape occurred about 18 months before three-year-old Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from her family’s flat at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz on the night of May 3, 2007.

Her mum Kate and dad Gerry had left her and her 18-month-old twin siblings Sean and Amelie sleeping in the apartment while the parents went for dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant nearby.

Brueckner is alleged to have had a 30-minute phone call outside the apartment building shortly before Madeleine went missing.

Mr Wolters previously said a phone allegedly used by Brueckner pinged on a mast at the Ocean Club.

Brueckner, then 30, lived in the area at the time, and police claim he was a drifter living out of a VW camper van when Madeleine went missing.

The paedophile has twice been convicted of sexually abusing girls in his native Germany.

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