German couple jailed for selling son to paedophiles on dark net

Leroy Wright
August 8, 2018

The boy is now 10 years old, according to German media, and there are huge questions about why authorities failed to intervene earlier, particularly because the mother's partner had a previous child sex abuse conviction.

On Tuesday, the Freidburg court convicted the couple for forced prostitution, rape, sexual and physical abuse, humiliation and bondage in nearly 60 separate identified acts.

She did not explain her actions, but her partner did speak a lot in court during the two-month trial, Spiegel reported.

The Freiburg state court ruled that the 39-year-old man must remain in preventive custody after serving his sentence.

The mother's partner, who already had a previous conviction of serious child abuse, confessed to the court in June that he was the "driving force" behind the crimes.

The 48-year-old woman and 39-year-old man were accused of repeatedly abusing and raping the boy, now 10, filming the abuse, and selling him to other men on the "dark net", an area of the internet that can be visited only by using special software. The abuse was filmed.

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The case which horrified Germany came to light following an anonymous tip last September, and led to the arrest of eight people who were charged with belonging to an online paedophile ring.

Several men, believed to be pedophile "clients" of the couple, have also been prosecuted in connection with the case.

A German court has handed down lengthy sentences to the parents convicted of selling their son to paedophiles on the darknet.

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The couple was also ordered to pay a total of 42,500 euros ($49,200) in damages to the boy and another victim, a girl who was temporarily in their care.

The trial has also raised concerns that officials might sometimes wrongly presume that a woman is incapable of abusing her own child.

Case psychiatrist, Hartmut Pleines, quoted by Spiegel news, said the mother's claim that she was in thrall to her partner when she committed the abuse, was false.

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