The trial of a 42-year-old man, who is behind this scandal, is due to open in August.
Germany facing the scourge of child pornography. German authorities announced Monday (June 29th) that they will investigate 30,000 people suspected of child Internet crime. “I did not expect, even from afar, the extent of child abuse on the net”, was alarmed at a press conference Peter Biesenbach, Minister of Justice of the region of North Rhine-Westphalia (west of the country) where the scandal broke out last fall. Investigators uncovered evidence “deeply disturbing”, he said, adding that “Child abuse online is more widespread than we previously thought”.
These investigations into cases of mistreatment, abuse and dissemination of mischief against children filmed for years began last October with the arrest of a 42-year-old man in Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne. Over 70 suspects have already been identified across Germany, many of whom are currently on trial. Last May, a 27-year-old soldier was sentenced to ten years in prison and placed in a mental hospital. So far, at least 40 victims have been identified in what appears to be one of the biggest child sex crime scandals in Germany.
The investigators were alerted by Canadian police officers who discovered child pornography content from this region of the west of the country. The 42-year-old man was then arrested, whose trial is scheduled to start in August. Investigators had found immense quantities of child pornography in his apartment. In the process, they also uncovered the existence of various discussion groups with several thousand participants. These recipients of “cats” are now in the crosshairs of German justice. “We want to get the perpetrators who abuse children and those who support them out of the anonymity of the internet”said the Minister of Justice.
“The authors who communicate in the forums consider child abuse to be ‘normal’ and find a large number of like-minded people. The inhibition thresholds drop. And this is what characterizes this situation from a criminal point of view”, he warned. “If we want to actively fight against child abuse on the internet, we must also talk about the legal regulations on data storage. One cannot work without the other”, he added.