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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutors Read Dutroux Charges

ARLON, Belgium -- Prosecutors used the second day in a child-sex and murder trial on Tuesday to paint a gruesome picture of crimes they claim Marc Dutroux and his co-defendants committed against six young girls during the 1990s.

Stone-faced, Dutroux and three alleged accomplices listened as prosecutor Michel Bourlet read from a 74-page statement and presented to the 12-member jury a chronological catalogue of offenses which have horrified the nation.

"They knew what they were doing," Bourlet told the court. "Marc Dutroux sought to have sex with the young girls without their consent."

Bourlet depicted Dutroux as a dark and sinister figure, the main perpetrator in seeking out six girls to take to his specially built basement holding cell "where he and others raped, abused and murdered."

Bourlet described how four of the girls died, saying Julie Lejeune and Melissa Russo -- two 8-year-old schoolmates -- starved to death while imprisoned in the cellar and were later buried.

An Marchal, 17, and Eefje Lambrecks, 19, were "drugged, wrapped in plastic" before being dumped in a backyard grave. "The victims were not dead when they were buried ... according to their autopsies," Bourlet said.

The defense team planned to suggest that Dutroux was only a small part of a criminal network.

Dutroux made similar allegations in a letter sent to the Belgian media Sunday, where he said co-defendant Michel Nihoul -- a small-time Brussels businessman with fraud convictions -- was an underworld lynchpin.