- Category: News
- Created on Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:28
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Robert M. is due to be sentenced for the abuse of 67 young children, the youngest of them a few days old, and making pornographic images of nearly half of them.
The 28-year-old Latvian has admitted abusing a total of 87 children, mostly through by working at day nurseries in Amsterdam, and distributing their images through online paedophile networks.
His partner, Richard van O. is facing a jail term of 12 years for aiding M. in dozens of offences.
The Amsterdam child abuse case began in November 2010 after an image of M. with a toddler was found during an investigation in the United States into an international paedophile ring.
More than 45,000 images and 3,500 videos of children were subsequently retrived from M.’s computer equipment.
As well as M. and Van O., nine other suspects are implicated, two of whom have died since the investigation began. One 50-year-old man took his own life shortly after being questioned by police.
The lead prosecutor told judges in Amsterdam: ‘Sadly the sexual abuse of children is not unique, but the severity, the manner and the scale on which M. carried it out is.
‘The abuse in this case is of an unprecedented nature and range,’ she added, describing it as ‘sophisticated and calculating’.
The prosecution also claim M. showed a lack of genuine remorse during earlier court hearings: ‘The suspect has not chosen his sexual inclination, but his behaviour is his choice.’
Van O. is accused of making an ‘essential and substantial contribution’ to his partner’s crimes. Prosecutors claim he was fully aware of M.’s actions and drove him to places knowing that M. would abuse children there.
In addition to a jail sentence of 20 years, prosecutors also asked the court to impose a mandatory treatment regime in a psychiatric institution.
M.’s lawyers argued that the combination of a long spell in prison with psychiatric treatment would be ‘counter-productive, undesirable and ineffective’.
Under Dutch media law, suspects in criminal cases cannot be identified by their full names.