German justice announced last June 25 that it was investigating some 30,000 people suspected of being involved in a large pedophilia case in the west of the country.
«We want to get out of the anonymity of the internet the authors who abuse children and those who support them“Peter Biesenbach, the Minister of Justice for the region of North Rhine-Westphalia where the scandal broke out, said at a press conference.
So far, around 70 people have been suspected in the case, which began last fall in the town of Bergisch Gladbach. Several of them are currently on trial. They are suspected of having abused and abused children for years and of having shared their wrongdoings filmed on online discussion groups.
At least 40 victims
Investigators have also identified at least 40 victims so far. The German investigators were alerted by Canadian police officers who discovered child pornography content from this region of western Germany.
A 42-year-old man, whose trial is scheduled to start in August, has already been arrested. Investigators found immense quantities of child pornography in his apartment. In the process, they also uncovered the existence of various discussion groups with several thousand participants.
“Fight against child abuse on the internet”
It is now these recipients of “chatsWhich are found in the crosshairs of German justice. After several cases of pedophilia in recent years that have shocked the country, the authorities are now more intransigent.
«Authors who communicate in forums view child abuse as “normal“ and find a lot of like-minded people. The inhibition thresholds drop. And this is what characterizes this situation on the penal levelWarned Mr. Biesenbach.
«If we are to actively combat child abuse on the internet, we must also talk about the legal regulations on data storage. One does not work without the other“, he added.