65 children in Germany freed in investigation of sexual abuse network
Authorities in Germany announced on Wednesday that they had freed 65 young victims of a sexual abuse network.
The children were identified as part of an investigation into photos and videos found in 2019 in Bergisch Gladbach, a town in the western part of the country, according to The Associated Press.
The victims, who were between the ages of 3 months and 17 years old, were freed over the course of the last two years as part of an investigation into a large network, the AP reported.
As part of the scheme, more than 30,000 pseudonyms were used, including some that could not be traced to real people. Investigators, however, identified at least 439 suspects and convicted some of them, including the man who owned the property where the materials were first found, the news service added.
As a result of the case, Germany has made its laws surrounding child abuse and distributing abusive images of children more strict.
In 2020, German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said that she would increase the protection of children who suffered abuse by increasing punishments for abusers so that they might face up to 15 years in prison for their actions. She also said maximum sentences for distribution of child pornography would be increased to 10 years, the AP noted.
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