Police have opened an investigation into whether the German Madeleine McCann suspect carried out a sexual offence against a 10-year-old girl in Portugal just weeks before Madeleine disappeared.
Christian Brueckner allegedly grabbed a 10-year-old girl and masturbated in front of her on Salema beach in April 2007 – just weeks before Madeleine disappeared on May 3, reported Spiegel.
She was saved when adults rushed to her aid – causing the man to flee the scene.
The attack happened just six miles from the Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz where Madeleine is thought to have been taken from her bed in the middle of the night.
Christian Brueckner (pictured) allegedly grabbed a 10-year-old girl and masturbated in front of her on Salema beach in April 2007 – just weeks before Madeleine disappeared on May 3, reported Spiegel
German judicial authorities have been aware of the case of the ten-year-old, who has not been named, since last year through a survey of sexual offences from Portugal.
She was playing with other children during a trip to the beach with her parents and family friends when a naked man grabbed hold of her.
He then touched himself while holding onto her, the girl told Portuguese investigators at the time.
Her father was forced to chase the man away from his daughter.
According to the magazine, the investigation against Brueckner has already been closed because the victim, who is from Germany, could not identify him in pictures.
Madeleine McCann went missing while on holiday in Portugal with her family in May 2007
However, after the investigation against him in the Madeleine case became known, the young woman contacted the police again and stated that she was now ’99 percent’ sure that he was the perpetrator. The investigation has resumed.
The German is considered by the Braunschweig prosecutor’s office as a suspect in the spectacular criminal case surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine.
Brueckner has numerous and considerable criminal convictions, including for sexual offences against children.
The shocking allegations came to light after Brueckner gave a rare insight into his life behind bars by drawing a pencil sketch of his cramped prison cell.
The drawing emerged as police continue to investigate his role in the three-year-old’s disappearance in Portugal in 2007.
Brueckner complained that he suffers from being unable to exercise properly as he has been confined to solitary for his own protection since June – when German police named him as the prime suspect in the case.
The 43-year-old’s only daily contact is with prison warders and the inmate who dishes out his meals. His lawyer Freidrich Fulcher is his only visitor.
Brueckner spends 23 hours a day in the cramped cell in the Kiel high security prison in northern Germany, where he serving a three-year-sentence for drug dealing.
Brueckner has given a rare insight into his life behind bars by drawing a pencil sketch of his cramped prison cell (pictured)
A seven-year conviction for the rape of an American pensioner in Portugal has still to be confirmed.
His living space measures three-metre long and has 60cm open area between his bed and his desk. There is a shelf on the wall, where he stores legal files about his case in folders.
There is a sink and a toilet behind a curtain. All the furniture is screwed in to the floor, except the chair.
He also has his own television, from where he keeps abreast of the latest developments in the Madeleine McCann case, it has been reported.
His meals include stew on Mondays, fish on Thursdays and a roast dinner on Sundays.
The attack on the girl, ten, happened just six miles from the Ocean Club (pictured) in Praia Da Luz where Madeleine is thought to have been taken from her bed in the middle of the night
Brueckner has made three applications for more exercise time to prison authorities but all have been refused.
The German drifter lived in a ramshackle cottage just 15-minutes-drive from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, from where Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007.
Mobile phone evidence places Brueckner in the tourist village on the night the youngster disappeared and he has been linked with a series of 25 break-ins throughout the resort.
Brueckner has been convicted for a string of sex crimes, including the sexual assault of children.
Friedrich Fulcher, his lawyer, maintains his client is innocent.