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Dutch police on Tuesday arrested the father of a 12-year-old girl who gave birth last month while on a school excursion, saying he is suspected of sexually abusing his daughter.

Prosecutors said they have "serious suspicions" the 52-year-old man abused his daughter, resulting in her pregnancy.

"We don't know what exactly happened. That is why we arrested this man -to hear his side of the story," prosecutor's office spokeswoman Kirsten Smit told The Associated Press.

The arrest added another shocking twist to a case that already had stunned the nation when news emerged last month that the girl gave birth during a school trip without having realized she was pregnant. The girl and her healthy baby daughter were taken into foster care shortly after the birth.

Smit said the arrest followed analysis of the DNA of the man and the baby girl by Dutch forensic scientists that showed there is a "considerable" chance he is the father. The man gave a DNA sample last week at the request of police.

Smit said it was difficult to be absolutely certain of whether the father of the 12-year-old also fathered her baby because of their close relationship.

"There are a lot of similarities between the father and his daughter and you also find those in the baby. That is why it is hard to see what is from him and what is from the mother," Smit said. "But there are things missing from the mother that have been passed on by the father. That is why we say the chance is considerable, we can't be 100 percent sure."

Prosecutors acknowledged that the "exceptional situation has caused a great deal of unrest among fellow students, family, friends and the wider public."

Neither the father nor daughter were identified under Dutch privacy rules.

Source: The Associated Press