ALLEGED pedophile Australian national Peter Gerard Scully and his Filipino co-accused Carme Anne Alvarez faced the court Tuesday, September 20, as the prosecution presented its first witness to Branch 37 Judge Jose Escobido.

Scully, 52, and Alvarez, 20, are facing charges on qualified trafficking in persons and five counts of rape by sexual assault after they held captive two girls aged nie and 11 at a house in Apovel Subdivision in Barangay Bulua in September 2014. Since bail isn’t granted on human trafficking case, both have remained incarcerated at the city jail in Barangay Lumbia.

The girls accused Scully and Alvarez of sexual abuse and exploitation during their five-day captivity inside Scully’s rented house.

The girls were said to have been coerced and filmed while performing sexual acts on each other or with Alvarez or Scully.

The video recordings of the children’s sexual performances were then sold to global porn consumers.

The girls escaped when Scully and Alvarez left the house to collect money from payment centers. One of the girls even had a dog leash on her neck when police rescued them, according to Prosecutor Ruby Malanog in an interview on September 19.

Malanog said the girls were penalized to dig a hole inside the house after failing in their first attempt to flee. Fearing the hole would become the girls’ grave, the more they planned their escape.

Getting convictions on these six charges could possibly be reached in 2017, Malanog said.

Once convicted, Scully could get the maximum life imprisonment of 30 years for human trafficking and another 100 years for the five rape charges.

Asked for comments on his first trial on Tuesday, Scully declined to answer.

Scully pleaded "not guilty" on June 27, 2016.

Regional State Prosecutor Jaime Umpa said in an interview on September 19 that aside from the six charges currently on trial, his office will be filing another 69 criminal charges following the 151-page resolution of the Department of Justice to indict Scully, his former live-in partner Liezyl Margallo, German national Christian Johann Rothe, Alexander Lao, Ma. Dorothea Chia, Haniel De Oliveira, and Marshal Ruskin. The resolution was released on September 9.

The recommended criminal charges are: the non-bailable six counts of qualified trafficking in persons committed by a syndicate, two counts of qualified trafficking in persons; five counts of syndicated child pornography; and the bailable nine counts of child abuse, five counts of indecent shows, obscene exhibitions and publications, four counts of child pornography, 25 counts of photo and video voyeurism and 13 counts of rape.

The charges stemmed from the complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-Ahtrad).

Assistant State Prosecutor Jinky Dedumo citing the testimonies of 45 witnesses in the preliminary investigations conducted in 2015 said the sexual performances were filmed and sold online while the accused get their payments through money transfer.

The Regional Prosecution Office in northern Mindanao, however, has yet to receive a copy of the resolution.

“We are still waiting for our copy on the resolution. Once the documents get here, we will file the charges immediately,” Umpa said.

Asked if Scully pleaded guilty, Umpa said, the penalties of accused Australian national could be reduced. “Even if he pleaded with ‘not guilty,’ we are sure to secure Scully’s conviction,” he said.

Even if the country doesn’t impose the death penalty, Umpa believes Scully deserves death saying, “I want death. His crimes are the worst with regard to human trafficking cases. I want these cases to get convictions to deter perpetrators to do the same.”