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Key Figure In German Child Abuse Case Jailed For 12 Years

A map of Germany shows the number of raid places at a press conference at the police department in Cologne, Germany, about nationwide child pornography raids, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Special police units, coordinated by the Cologne Prosecutor's Office, have raided 60 places across Germany yesterday, linked to an ongoing investigation that started last year in the city of Bergisch Gladbach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

A map of Germany shows the number of raid places at a press conference at the police department in Cologne, Germany, about nationwide child pornography raids, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Special police units, coordinated by the Cologne Prosecutor's Office, have raided 60 places across Germany yesterday, linked to an ongoing investigation that started last year in the city of Bergisch Gladbach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

A court in western Germany on Tuesday sentenced a 43yearold man at the center of a large child sexual abuse network to 12 years imprisonment.

BERLIN: A court in western Germany on Tuesday sentenced a 43-year-old man at the center of a large child sexual abuse network to 12 years imprisonment.

The regional court in Cologne convicted the defendant, identified only as Joerg L. for privacy reasons, of repeatedly raping his daughter, who was born in 2017.

Investigators searching his premises in the town of Bergisch Gladbach last year found large numbers of photos and videos showing him committing abuse. The material led them to an online network of men with whom the defendant had been sharing images.

Authorities have since uncovered evidence implicating thousands of people across Germany in the abuse and more than 100 have already been identified. Dozens of children have been removed from environments where they were suffering abuse.

The German government recently announced it would toughen laws against child sex abuse and those making or distributing child abuse images.

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