German couple jailed after selling son for sex on the internet

Hannah Rogers
August 8, 2018

A German couple have been jailed for selling their 9-year-old son to paedophiles for sex on the dark web.

Several men, believed to be pedophile "clients" of the couple, have also been prosecuted in connection with the case.

News agency DPA reported that the Freiburg state court sentenced the woman on Tuesday to 12 and a half years in prison and her partner to 12 years.

Their sentences fell short of what prosecutors had demanded - 14 years and six months for Taha and 13 years and six months for Lais.

The court found that the couple had sexually assaulted and raped the boy for years, and sold him on the so-called dark net to pedophiles between May 2015 and August 2017.

The case which horrified Germany came to light following an anonymous tip last September, and led to the arrest of eight people who were charged with belonging to an online paedophile ring.

The pair have only been identified by the pseudonyms Berrin T and Christian L in line with German privacy rules.

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The boy's 48-year-old mother was jailed for 12 years and six months, while his stepfather, 39, was given a 12-year sentence.

The mother's partner, who already had a previous conviction of serious child abuse, confessed to the court in June that he was the "driving force" behind the crimes.

On Monday, the court jailed a Spanish man for 10 years for sexually abusing the boy repeatedly.

The stepfather has a previous conviction for paedophilia.

The couple must now pay £38,000 in damages to their son and to a three-year-old girl, who they also sexually abused.

According to case psychiatrist Hartmut Pleines, quoted by Spiegel, the mother's claim that she was in thrall to her partner when she committed the abuse was false.

Local authorities have been accused of failing to protect the boy from his abusive parents, after officials removed him from his home, but returned him back weeks later.

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