Germany: 4 men, 1 woman sentenced to prison for child abuse

BERLIN — A court in the western German city of Muenster sentenced a 28-year-old computer technician to 14 years in prison for sexually abusing children in 29 cases, the German news agency dpa reported Tuesday.

Because of the severity of his crime, the man’s prison term can be further extended after the 14 years, the court ruled.

The man, whose identity wasn’t released as is customary in Germany, is said to be the main delinquent of a group of people involved in the sexual abuse of the children.

The perpetrators used sophisticated technology to encrypt their communication about the abuse of the children, and police secured hundreds of terabytes of video footage when they arrested the men in Muenster last year.

Three more men were convicted. A 36-year-old man from Hannover received a 10-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of children in four cases, a 43-year-old man from Schorfheide was sentenced to 11 years and six months of prison for five cases of abuse, and a 31-year-old man from Staufenberg was sentenced to 12 years in prison in six cases, dpa reported. The trio’s sentences can also be further extended after the end of their prison terms because of the severity of their crimes.

The 46-year-old mother of the computer technician was sentenced to five years in prison for her complicity in the crimes.

All sentences can still be appealed, dpa reported.