German Man Admits Sharing ‘Child Porn’ on the Darknet

According to reports from local news outlets, a 37-year-old man from the Bliesgau region of Saarland, Germany, admitted to downloading and sharing child abuse videos on the darknet. The prosecution had accused the man of downloading and sharing at least 107 pictures and videos that showed the sexual abuse of children. His confession and willingness to work with the court may help soften the impact of an upcoming sentence at a hearing in March.

He admitted that he shared or distributed more than 100 pictures and videos of child abuse to other pedophiles he had met on the darknet. At the beginning of the hearing, the 37-year-old told the court the he “had never had sex with a woman.” He said that he turned to the darknet for his sexual gratification. The man told the court that he discovered he could access child abuse content by searching for it directly. Prosecutors claimed that the defendant found the content and then shared it with others. Evidence gathered during the investigation revealed that he had shared 107 files on the darknet.

The court did not share information that indicated the defendant had stored any of the files for a personal collection of illicit material. One might safely assume that—if he had stored any content—investigators would have found roughly 107 files. The prosecutor pushed an issue he found more troublesome than the defendant’s distribution of illegal media: instigating other pedophiles to abuse children. Investigators found proof that the Bliesgau man had encouraged other forum members to abuse children, record or photograph the abuse, and then upload the content for himself and others to view. The court found this more troubling than his distribution crimes due to the more immediate damage his instigation may have caused.

That did not confirm that any of the people he had contacted on the darknet had actually complied with his requests, though. His confession indicated that he may not have left a mindset of roleplay. “It was the Internet, it was not real,” he told the court. The court recognized that he may not have been aware of the harm he had caused children (by viewing content uploaded by other pedophiles). In fact, the defendant said that he felt relieved when the police showed up on his doorstep in April 2014. After sitting in jail for roughly six months, the 37-year-old was allowed to leave in order to seek treatment for his so-called ‘child pornography addiction’.

The treatment had helped, he told the court. Some said the man seemed truly remorseful. His sentencing was scheduled to take place in March. He faces a maximum of sentence of 15 years in prison.