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France: 20 years in prison for one of the world’s leading cyber-pedocriminals

Nature

A 20-year prison sentence was handed down on Friday in France against a man accused of incest, very active on the darknet to the point of becoming a priority target in the fight against child crime online worldwide.

• Read also: Trial of one of the world’s leading cyber-pedocriminals begins in France

Tried for having possessed and distributed on the internet “tens of thousands” of pornographic photos and videos “featuring very young minors”, including his own two little girls, this ex-canton worker was also responsible for rapes and repeated sexual assaults on the latter, from their birth in 2012 and 2015 until his arrest in 2020.

Police officers from the Central Office for the Suppression of Violence against Persons tracked for several years, in collaboration with Europol and Interpol, this “very active” Internet user on the darknet, known in particular under the pseudonym “Kali”.

The Gironde Assize Court, before which the trial was held behind closed doors since Wednesday, accompanied this sentence, which corresponds to the maximum sanction provided for by law, with a two-thirds security period.

She also ordered socio-judicial monitoring for 10 years, with an injunction for care and a ban on contact with children, as well as a prison sentence of an additional seven years in the event of non-compliance with these measures.

This 43-year-old father admitted the facts during the investigation. At the request of his ex-partner, mother of their three children, the court ordered the closed session.

In 2017, he notably shared images showing two little girls, then “around five years old” for one, “one or two years old” for the other, which turned out to be his.

It was a “technical imprudence” committed during the transfer of a video, according to the indictment, which made it possible to identify and arrest him, with investigators then finding him at his home in Frontenac (Gironde, south-west of France) several tens of thousands of files of child victims of child criminals throughout the world.

In addition to the family, four child protection associations had become civil parties in the case.

For Me Nathalie Bucquet, lawyer for the Innocence in Danger association, sentencing the accused to the maximum sentence is “a very important decision”.

“So that the community of child criminals is aware that the sentences handed down are increasingly severe,” she told AFP, rejoicing that justice is taking “into account the international dimension of these actions” .

Nature

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