German services from Hesse dismantled a pedophile network and made numerous arrests. As reported by the State Criminal Police on Monday, 85 apartment searches took place between November 13 and 18 in almost all districts of Hesse. As many as 87 people were detained, including 12 women.
Eight suspects are accused of sexual violence against children and adolescents. The remaining 79 defendants purchased, possessed or distributed child pornography. 23 of the defendants are under 21 years old.
Investigators seized approximately 750 data carriers, such as smartphones, computers, laptops and USB sticks. All equipment will be thoroughly analyzed in the near future. According to preliminary police findings, the accused did not know each other.
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The organizer of the action was the State Criminal Office and special organization of the Hessian police – “Fokus”. The aim of the unit, which was established three years ago, is to protect minors against sexual violence and investigate sexual crimes against children and adolescents.
According to data from the State Criminal Police in Germany, the perpetrators of sexual crimes against children and adolescents are increasingly often minors who are themselves subject to the provisions of criminal law against minors. In 2022, 46 percent of suspects charged with purchasing, possessing or distributing child pornography were under 21 years of age. Experience shows that minors do not always act consciously and often spread illegal content, for example via instant messaging or social media.