Tell it to SunStar: Online trafficker gets 23 years in prison

GOVERNMENT authorities scored another win against online sexual exploitation of children after a 27-year-old online trafficker pleaded guilty yesterday to her crimes.

Maggie (real name withheld), who hails from Zamboanga City, was sentenced to a total of 23 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted trafficking, child abuse, and conspiracy to commit child pornography.

Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos of the Regional Trial Court 11 in Panabo City, Davao del Norte also ordered the online trafficker to pay a total of P600,000 in fines and P900,000 in damages.

Maggie was arrested on May 6, 2019 after she was caught offering to sexually abuse a 15-year-old girl and stream live the abuse for an online predator in exchange for money. The victim was rescued during the entrapment operation while three other underage girls were rescued the next day.

The Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Women and Children Protection Center–Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) carried out the entrapment operation at Maggie’s residence in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte.

WCPC-MFU coordinated with the Department of Justice–Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking–Regional Anti-Trafficking in Person Task Force Davao Region. Also supporting the operation were the PNP Regional Intelligence Division, the Sto. Tomas Municipal Police Office, DSWD Davao Region, and the International Justice Mission.

“Online sexual exploitation of children (Osec) is one of the worst types of trafficking in persons because it destroys the moral fiber of our youth,” said Deputy Regional Prosecutor Barbara Mae Flores, who noted the sad reality that most perpetrators of this crime are close relatives of the victims.

“We hope that this conviction would send a strong message to all perpetrators that this government is serious in its effort to protect our children and that this government has established linkages with foreign authorities and a strong network with other stakeholders to ensure their apprehension,” she added.


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