RIO DE JANEIRO - A man in a remote fishing village in Brazil kept his daughter imprisoned for 12 years, raped her repeatedly and had seven children with her, police said yesterday.

The man is also accused of abusing a young girl he had with his daughter.

Police allege that Jose Agostinho Pereira, 54, kept his daughter, now 28, under virtual house arrest in a two-room, thatched-roof hut near a tiny fishing village in northeastern Brazil.

An officer who aided in the arrest said the home was in such a remote, jungle area that the only way to reach it was by canoe. Authorities said the children appeared to suffer from malnutrition and could barely communicate with others. Most were unclothed.

The alleged abuse began when Pereira's wife left him in 1998, said police inspector Jair Lima de Paiva.

Pereira has been in jail since Tuesday in the city of Pinheiro in Maranhao state, about 1,400 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. Paiva said Pereira kept his daughter and the children in nearly complete isolation in the countryside near the village of Experimento, about 50 miles outside of Pinheiro.

The exact ages of the children - four girls and three boys - were not known as none of their births were registered, but police believe they range in age from 2-months-old to 12.

"None of them were allowed to leave the house. None can read, they can barely communicate with other people," said Paiva.