Close This website uses modern features that are not supported by your browser. Click here for more information.
Please upgrade to a modern browser to view this website properly. Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Opera Safari
your legal news hub
Sub Menu
Search

Search

Filter
Filter
Filter
A A A

Child porn cases snare high-profile personalities

Publish date: 14 February 2018
Issue Number: 1719
Diary: Legalbrief eLaw
Category: Cybercrime

A surge in high-profile online pornography cases has served notice that the authorities around the world are swimming against the growing tide of the World Wide Web which continues to penetrate all corners of the globe. Legalbrief reports that the Internet continues to serve as a platform connecting people of different cultures and values. In one of the latest examples, Cambodia has deported seven out of a group of 10 foreigners who were charged with producing pornography in the tourist town of Siem Reap. A report on the US News site notes that the men were arrested on 25 January, along with 77 other foreigners, in a raid on a party in Siem Reap province. The provincial court, which granted bail to the seven last week, had also ordered them to leave the country. The Guardian reports that court spokesperson Yin Srang said the charges against them have not been formally dropped. Defence lawyer Ouch Sopheaktra said the three remaining foreigners still in detention would soon stand trial.

Full report on the US News site

Full report in The Guardian

In the UK, the alleged fantasist who sparked the Westminster paedophile investigation has been charged with child sex offences. A report in The Daily Telegraph notes that the man, who can only be identified as Nick, was arrested last year and has already appeared in court, charged with multiple offences relating to allegations of making and possessing hundreds of indecent images of children. He has also been charged with voyeurism. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which allegedly took place between 2015 and 2016, and was expected to stand trial this year. The extraordinary development comes as prosecutors are considering whether he should be charged for allegedly lying about being abused as a child and then fraudulently claiming compensation for the ordeal. In 2015, Nick told Scotland Yard that a VIP paedophile ring, operating in Dolphin Square in Westminster, had raped, abused and even murdered young boys. He claimed the group included the late former Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath; the former head of the Army, Field Marshall Lord Bramall; the former Home Secretary, Lord Brittan; and the former Tory politician, Harvey Proctor. The controversial inquiry was shut down in March 2016 without a single arrest having been made, and the Met has since apologised to those who were falsely accused. Proctor is suing the force for £500 000, having lost his home as a result of the police actions.

Full report in The Daily Telegraph

Staying in the UK, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger has accused the criminal justice system of ‘collusion and cover-up’ after it emerged one of her son’s killers was not prosecuted for breaching a ban on accessing the Internet. According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, Jon Venables might still have been behind bars had the Crown Prosecution Service decided to prosecute him two years ago for breaching the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) preventing him from going online. Instead he was arrested in July last year on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, including a paedophile manual downloaded from the Internet on how to ‘have sex with little girls . . . safely’. Venables, now 36, was this week sentenced at the Old Bailey to a further three years and four months (40 months) in prison after pleading guilty to downloading explicitly indecent images. Two-year-old James was tortured and murdered by the then 10-year-old Venables and Robert Thompson, also 10, after they abducted him from a shopping centre on 12 February, 1993. The two killers were sentenced to detention and released on licence in 2001, at the age of 18.

Full report in The Daily Telegraph

An ocean away, LA actor Mark Salling's child pornography charges are to be dropped following his suicide. As a result, the agreement he made in court to compensate his victims has been rendered void. As well as facing four to seven years in jail, the former Glee star had agreed to register as a sex offender, spend 20 years under supervised release, and pay $50 000 to each victim who submitted a formal restitution request. However, a report on the IoL site notes that his death voided any compensation agreement. Former prosecutor Mann Medrano said ‘the government can no longer proceed – essentially, no defendant, no criminal prosecution’. The victims could still try to seek damages from Salling’s estate, which is reportedly worth close to $2m. However, they would have to prove their case in a civil court.

Full report on the IoL site

SA's new National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole yesterday (Tuesday) warned that police will lurk in the 'dark web' – where child pornographers and other cyber criminals – strut their stuff. A TimesLIVE report notes that he said they would be using 'unconventional' methods to catch key targets‚ which would include using the dark web‚ or deep web. It's a tactic the FBI has been using for a while. A report on the WCPO site notes that special agent Carlos Goris describes it as 'just another market....an online market'. Except that almost everything in that market is illegal. 'You can find drugs, you can find weapons. You can find child porn, you can find a child. You can also find guides on how to commit criminal acts,' Goris said.

Full report on the WCPO site