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American gets 160 years sentence for Filipino child porn

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American gets 160 years sentence for Filipino child porn
This file photo shows a child using the camera of a cellular phone
Pixabay / File

MANILA, Philippines — A US federal judge convicted an Alabama man to 160 years of imprisonment for soliciting videos of Filipino children being sexually abused.

The US Department of Justice said a federal jury convicted Benjamin Walter on Oct. 25, 2021 of “four counts of producing and attempting to produce child pornography and one count each of receiving and distributing child pornography.”

Its Office of Public Affairs said in a statement that for three years, Walter sought women in the Philippines to sexually abuse their children and other relatives, including arranging for gang rape of young children.

He would then send money in increments of 25 to 50 US dollars for the videos, images and live transmissions.

“In addition to live webcam shows, Walter also sent and received emails to which the senders attached images and videos of young children engaged in sex acts with adult men,” the US DOJ added.

 It also said that the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, launched in May 2006 by the US DOJ. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Huntsville Field Office meanwhile investigated the case.

OSEC in the Philippines

Philippine Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar hailed the conviction of Walter not just as a win for his victims but for other victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.

She stressed that online sexual exploitation of children preys on the most vulnerable and leaves them scarred for life. “[I]t is important for their complete recovery and healing that their abusers are held accountable for their crimes,” she added.

Aglipay-Villar is the undersecretary in-charge of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. The council is co-chaired by the Departments of Justice and of Social Welfare and Development. 

“The Philippines has the highest incidence of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children in the world and the numbers keep on growing every year,” the DOJ official said.

But she vowed that the IACAT will continue to work on eradicating OSEC in the Philippines. “Each year our rescues of abuse and exploited children, investigations of OSEC, cases filed, and convictions secured are increasing due to our continued efforts to strengthen and scale up our response against OSEC,” Aglipay-Villar continued.

In 2020, the Commission on Human Rights also said that the pandemic and its effect on the livelihoods of people rendered many Filipinos more vulnerable to exploitation. — Krisitne Joy Patag

CHILD ABUSE

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

IACAT

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