Child porn: Man sentenced to 8 years for 'abusing his position of trust'


An acting High Court judge has raised concern over the future of children lured into the production of child pornography.

Daniel Mogotsi was addressing the Gauteng High Court in Palm Ridge on Tuesday during the sentencing of a man convicted of creating, possessing and distributing pornographic material showing children.

The 41-year-old Roodepoort man, who cannot be named so as to protect the identity of one of his victims which is his own child, was sentenced after he had earlier pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to six years for the unlawful possession of child pornography, eight for importing child pornography, eight for the unlawful distribution of child pornography, 12 for using a child for pornography, 12 for benefiting from child pornography and another 12 for furthering the sexual exploitation of a child.

He was ordered to serve an effective eight years, with many of the sentences running concurrently.

The man was arrested in Durban in 2018 after an intensive joint probe by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and South African police.

He was producing and advertising child pornographic material on the internet.

Material

"The accused had produced and advertised his child pornographic material to both his local and international clients. Those images are now out there in the internet space. The images will remain and may be published further. He created the material as and when the need arose.

"His conduct impacts on the families [of victims] after using images of innocent children. He also used his own child and wife's images and another child of his family member.

Mogotsi said:As the head of the family, he abused his position of trust and care. He relied on his clients to buy pornographic material. The interest of society in this particular case is such that it demands that those who commit crime must be punished. Expectations of society are that a severe sentence is imposed.

He added the future of all minor children involved was now at stake.

"His actions impact on the dignity of children involved worldwide as a result of images placed on the internet. The court should also exercise mercy on the accused because he is a first-time offender," Mogotsi said.

He added the fact the man had pleaded guilty earlier showed there were chances he could be rehabilitated.

"What is important is to arrest his unlawful conduct. He didn't say that after selling the material online, he deleted the images because the accused has knowledge of the computers.

"He said after selling the material, he immediately blocked the buyer form contacting him further.

"The question is that how many pictures have been circulated? He used his child's bank account to receive proceeds [of pornographic material]. The suffering of his children will be a direct consequence of his own conduct," said Mogotsi.

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