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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/9/2002 11:06:41 AM EST
This is absolutely beyond belief. I can't imagine how a parent could do this to his own child. I can't imagine how anyone could do this to a child. Around the turn of the 20th century, it was common to call early criminologists, [b]Alienists.[/b] People who do this kind of thing, must indeed be aliens. By CONNIE CASS .c The Associated Press WASHINGTON (Aug. 9) - A group of parents sexually molested their own children and sent pornographic pictures of them worldwide over the Internet, U.S. Customs officials said Friday, announcing 20 arrests in the United States and abroad. Forty-five children, including 37 in the United States who ranged from age 2 to about 14, were victims and have been removed from the care of those indicted, Customs officials said. Eighty percent of them were molested by one of their own parents, they said. Most of them are in the custody of another parent or relative, or foster care. ''I've rarely seen crimes as despicable and repugnant,'' said Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. Bonner said he had never seen a broad conspiracy among parents before. ''If this isn't unusual, God help us,'' he said. Ten U.S. citizens have been charged, including nine named in an indictment unsealed Friday in Fresno, Calif. One has already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Bonner said. The 10th American committed suicide after his arrest. Six residents of Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands were also indicted in Fresno and the Justice Department is seeking their extradition to the United States to face charges. Four other foreigners were charged abroad as part of the joint investigation with the Danish National Police. Bonner said the wide availability of child pornography on the Internet encouraged pedophiles. ''Together we must find ways to protect our children ... and to starve the pedophiles of the sordid images that induce them to act,'' he said. Bonner said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected. Authorities are still trying to identify other children in some of the explicit pictures, he said. The indictment alleges that members of the ring, referring to themselves as ''the club,'' traded messages across the Internet requesting photographs of specific sexual poses. One man asked for an audiotape so he could hear a child crying while being spanked, the indictment said, and another posed naked with an underage girl. In one instance, a man swapped his own children with another pedophile to be abused, Bonner alleged. The Customs Service coordinated the U.S. investigation that began last November with a request for help from the Danish National Police, who were acting on a tip about an international child pornography ring. Information from the Danish police led investigators to two men in Fresno County, Calif. and San Diego, and searches of their computers led to the arrests of the other eight Americans. The Americans charged include: Lloyd Alan Emmerson of Fresno County, Calif.; Paul Whitmore and Brooke Rowland, San Diego County, Calif.; Tracy Reynolds, Texas; Leslie Peter Bowcut, Idaho; Michael David Harland, Florida; Harry Eldon Tschernetzki, Washington state; John Zill, South Carolina; Craig Davidson, Kansas. The foreigners indicted in Fresno were identified as Eggert Jensen and Bente Jensen of Denmark; Jean-Michael Frances Cattin, Marcel Egli and Peter Althaus of Switzerland; and Dirk-Jan Prins of the Netherlands. The others were indicted abroad.
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