Global child porn ring smashed

2010-12-15 07:07

Los Angeles – US authorities said yesterday they had broken up an international online child pornography ring using a bulletin board called Lost Boy and charged some 20 people in five countries.

The internet forum was used by some three dozen members trading thousands of “images and videos of child pornography depicting young boys in sexually explicit situations,” some of which the members made themselves.

Sixteen of the suspects are in the United States, while the others are in France, Germany, Belgium and New Zealand, according to US justice authorities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Five have already pleaded guilty in the United States to charges including producing child pornography, conspiracy to transport child pornography and participating in a child exploitation enterprise.

“The Lost Boy case represents a global subculture that exists for the purpose of trading of child pornography and other tools used to sexually exploit children,” said assistant FBI director Steven Martinez.

The five who have pled guilty in the United States were identified as David Michael Fagerness (44); Andrew Neil Scott (30); Anthony Jasso (46); Justin Lee (33); and Woodrow Tracy (65).

The four named in indictments but still abroad are: Gregoire Byvoet (44), of Belgium; Sven-Gregor Meyer (46), of Germany; Raymond Ruelle (50), of France; and Robin Lopez (29), of New Zealand.

US Attorney for California’s central district Andre Birotte Jr said the Lost Boy bulletin board “allowed members to access pornographic images of hundreds of boys who were victimised for sexual purposes”.

Birotte added: “As a result of this investigation, authorities also discovered individuals who abused children, made their own child pornography and shared their disturbing product with others on the internet.”

US Assistant Attorney-General Lanny Breuer said the group was uncovered “through unprecedented cooperation with foreign law enforcement partners”.

“We are committed to pursuing these perpetrators wherever they are through international investigations and prosecutions like the one we are highlighting today,” he added.


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