Taguig court convicts trafficker in online child sexual exploitation case

Image from Pixabay
Image from Pixabay

A FEMALE trafficker was sentenced to a maximum of 26 years of imprisonment for sexually abusing children for profit online.

The accused pleaded guilty to attempted trafficking and child abuse. It was on June 13, 2023, when the Regional Trial Court Branch 15-FC in Taguig City delivered its verdict, sentencing her to 20 years of imprisonment for attempted trafficking.

The court also handed down an additional four to six years of imprisonment against the accused for child abuse.

"This conviction marks another milestone in our relentless pursuit of justice for the victims of online sexual exploitation. This crime inflicts profound trauma upon innocent children and devastates families. Let this conviction serve as a warning to all criminals involved in online exploitation: Justice will prevail, and we will spare no effort to bring you to face the full force of the law," said Prosecutor Princess Roxanne Sucor.

The case stemmed from a referral from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center, which resulted in the rescue of six minors on October 19, 2016. Follow-up rescue operations in January 2017 brought three more minors to safety.

Alongside the prison terms, the trafficker was also ordered to pay the fine of P1 million for the offense of attempted trafficking, and an additional P10,000 in moral damages for the offense of child abuse.

"This conviction stands as a powerful testament to the unwavering dedication of the Philippine government in creating a safe nation for Filipino children. At IJM, we maintain a steadfast commitment to fighting the online sexual exploitation of children. We work hand in hand with the government, civil society partners, and the private sector in our collective pursuit of a society where the harrowing experiences of child exploitation and abuse no longer exist," said IJM Manila Director Reynaldo Bicol.

Trafficking for the purpose of creating child sexual exploitation material is a growing and borderless crime. Offenders use online platforms to communicate with traffickers, who are often relatives or close acquaintances of the victims, directing them to livestream the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

In 2022 alone, a staggering 88.3 million images, videos, and other files related to child sexual exploitation were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

IJM is preparing to release a study called Scale of Harm, which seeks to provide a prevalence estimate of trafficking for the production of child sexual exploitation material in the Philippines. Findings from the study will offer crucial insights for policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and organizations engaged in combating this problem.

To date, IJM has provided support to Philippine authorities in rescuing 1,123 victims and apprehending 355 suspected perpetrators, with at least 195 of them having been convicted.

To report information about online child sexual exploitation, contact the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center at 0966-725-5961 (Globe) and 0919-777-7377 (Smart). (PR)


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