A 52-year-old Swedish man was convicted on Thursday for ordering the rape of 18 Filipino minors via webcam, with a court sentencing him to eight years in prison.
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The prosecutor had asked the court to sentence the man to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to commit aggravated child rape as well as instigating aggravated child rape.
The man is suspected of having paid Filipino women to sexually assault children in front of their webcams, while he watched from home in Sweden.
“He has paid them to get children, and then they connected webcams and then the women have, according to his demands, assaulted the children while he sat home watching,” Liz Berglund of the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) told Sveriges Radio (SR) last year when the man was held on remand.
The children involved were often related or lived near the women, who sometimes even took the kids out of school to be abused in exchange for payment when they were short of money.
The case is legally unique in Sweden as the suspected offender and his victims were in different countries, although police suspect that the crime itself is not rare.
“This is the first time someone has been revealed in such a case in Sweden but he is probably not the first to do this,” said Berglund.
The crimes took place between 2008 and 2009 and many of the children were younger than seven-years-old.
It is not the first time a Swedish citizen has been tried for sex crimes in thePhilippines. In May 2012, a 76-year-old was jailed for sexually abusing poor children whom he had been teaching.
In 2011, two Swedish IT entrepreneurs were jailed for life in the Philippines for running a “cyber-sex den”, or online brothel.