A German couple was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in prison for prostituting the woman’s then-9-year-old son, as well as for selling videos of them and others sexually abusing the boy.
The couple, named only as Berrin T., 37, and Christian L., 47, under strict German privacy laws, pimped the child out almost 50 times, and were found guilty of rape, aggravated sexual assault of a child and forced prostitution, according to The Telegraph.
They were also found guilty of distributing child pornography -- for filming themselves abusing the boy, and for charging others to film themselves abusing him.
The couple were also convicted of sexually abusing of a 3-year-old girl.
The man, Christian L., who had a previous conviction of child molestation, was also ordered by the court to be held in indefinite, preventative detention upon his release from prison.
Six other men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for paying the couple to rape the boy, the Telegraph reports. Among these were three German men, including a soldier and one who asked if he could kill the boy after raping him, a Swiss national and two Spaniards.
The case has horrified the German public, and police there describe it as the worst child sex case they’ve ever investigated, according to Deutsche Welle, the German news service.
The couple used the Dark Web -- the unindexed, unregulated area of the internet favored by criminals and accessible only through specialized browsing software -- to pimp the boy, finding people willing to pay to rape him, as well as trading and selling sexually explicit videos, authorities said. Judge Stefan Bürgelin found that the boy’s mother, Berrin T., carried out “the most violent acts” against him, documented in video footage of abuse seized from the couple and shown to the court.
“Although her son cried out in pain, she did not leave him alone,” Judge Stefan Bürgelin said as he sentenced her.
Judge Bürgelin found that Berrin T. initially allowed Christian L. to abuse her son and participated herself out of fear not doing so would cause him to leave her. Later, however, her motive became financial, as they made thousands of euros selling the boy and the videos.
German authorities may have missed opportunities to rescue the boy.
A local youth welfare office took custody of the child in March 2017, when it learned that he was living in the same house as his mother's partner, Christian L. — who was not supposed to be near children because he was a convicted child-sex offender, reports Deutsche Welle.
But Berrin T. sued for the boy’s return and won -- authorities were forced to hand the boy back.
The boy is now living with foster parents and is doing well “under the circumstances,” his lawyer said Tuesday.
[Photo: Getty Images]