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Pimps and Predators on the Internet - page 21 / 75





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Investigations by police that led to the break-up of a child pornography ring, known as the Wonderland Club, found that predators in Germany downloaded more child pornography than any other country in the world. In second place were predators in Australia. 47

Many of the arrests of predators possessing and trading child pornography on the Internet show that these are not small-scale activities, but concerted efforts to record and exploit the sexual abuse of children.

Switzerland: A 31-year-old computer assistant at Basel University created a Web site on the university’s computer system to house 1000 pornographic images, a number of them showed children. Police found additional pornography on this home computer. Possession of child pornography is not an arrestable offense in Switzerland, but transmitting the material can lead to a prison sentence up to three years and a fine of up to US$28,000. 48

Canada: James Bruce Ritchie, 51, of Brockville, Canada pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography after police raided his house and found 1,350 pornographic images, some depicting incest and bestiality, and 671 fictional stories of children engaging in sexual acts, some of which he had written himself.49 He was sentenced to 15 months in jail, one of the toughest sentences handed down since a 1993 Criminal Code amendment targeted child pornography. 50

France: More than 50 people were detained, five of whom were placed under formal investigation, in a police crackdown on a pedophilia ring that used the Internet to transmit child pornography. 51

Australia: Colin Mowday, a Victoria-based RAAF officer, was fined A$4,000 for possessing child pornography and given two four-month suspended jail sentences after a police search of his home turned up more than 300 computer disks, 500 computer printouts, 20 videos and three magazines of child pornography. The images included children as young as five being sexually abused by adult men. 52

Spain: Twelve people were arrested, and 3,000 Internet images, 2,000 slides and hundreds of videos and computer diskettes seized in a police raid in Ciutat Vella, in the northeastern region of Catalonia. As many as 40 local children may have been used in making the pornography. The ring distributed the material in France, Mexico, the United States and other European countries. The investigation started after police arrested a couple who sold their 10-year-old son as a prostitute on weekends for US$200. 53

United States: Russell Latrell Boyd, 28, was indicted on charges of possession, receipt, reproduction and distribution of child pornography involving the sexual exploitation of children. 5,000 images were found on his home computer. 54

England: Timothy Spring, 20, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, pleaded guilty to charges of publishing obscene computer files on the Internet and making indecent photographs of a child from computer files.

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