News24

Shrink found with child porn

2004-07-01 19:56

Warsaw - There is "strong" and "clear" evidence against one of Poland's most respected child psychologists suspected of paedophilia after he was found in possession of child pornography, Poland's Justice Minister Marek Sadowski said on Thursday in Warsaw.

"The evidence is such that there is no doubt about the justification of our suspicions," Sadowski told Poland's Radio Zet, terming it "strong" and "clear".

Top Polish child psychotherapist Andrzej S, 57, was charged with sex crimes against children on Monday and arrested for a period of three months pending a full criminal investigation.

Polish law forbids the publication of a suspect's full name.

Up to 10 years in prison is the maximum penalty for sex crimes against children in Poland. Prosecutors declined to make the exact nature of the charges public, saying the ongoing investigation demanded strict confidentiality.

Investigators were also looking for clues as to whether Andrzej S had acted alone or whether he may have been part of an organised paedophile network.

Shock waves rippled through Poland on Monday when police discovered Andrzej S was in possession of a sizeable collection explicit child pornography.

Birth-mark the key

At the weekend, the therapist's neighbours told police a large number of pornographic photos, including some depicting children with adults, had been dumped near a residential garbage deposit in a leafy Warsaw neighbourhood where the suspect resided.

Police detained Andrzej S late on Sunday for questioning after they noticed him loitering near the garbage bins. Their suspicion was raised when they noticed a birth-mark on one of his hands very similar to one on an adult male hand in some of the child porn photos.

More child pornography was found inside the therapist's nearby home including videos and CD ROMs with hundreds of photos. His flat is adjacent to a pre-school.

Reports indicate Andrzej S has denied any wrongdoing, claiming instead he was using the photos for professional research.

The case has stunned Poland's therapeutic community. Andrzej S was regarded as one of Poland's leading, if not it's top, authority in the area of child psychology, child abuse and paedophilia. He was a top consultant on crimes against children for Poland's National Police Headquarters.

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