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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bergen man charged in new assault case

A 66-year-old Norwegian man in Bergen who already was under investigation for possession of photos showing sexual assaults on children has also been charged with financing assaults on children in the Philippines. State broadcaster NRK reported how he sent at least NOK 142,000 over a three-year period to a couple who allegedly organized online assaults of 27 children from poor families outside Manila.

According to the charges now filed against him, the 66-year-old ordered and paid for children to assault themselves and other children. NRK reported on how the sexual assaults were filmed and streamed to the man via the Internet while he watched from his home in Bergen.

The suspect, who also has been charged with assaults on 40 Norwegian children, had been in the police spotlight for several years. In the summer of 2010, according to NRK, Norwegian raided his home in Hordaland County in connection with another assault investigation, and seized nearly 100,000 photos and more than 700 films of sexual assaults on children. He was charged and sentenced to 10 months in prison in 2013.

NRK reported that he has since been arrested again and charged for having ordered the photos and videos of children in the Philippines, after local police raided a house outside Manila this spring, arrested the couple living there and rescued six children found on the premises. Inside the house police found receipts for money the Norwegian had transferred, computers with assault photos and equipment for streaming of video on the Internet.

NRK reported that instead of being angry with the man, the children’s poverty-stricken families were grateful for his financial support, and that he even had tried to outright purchase a nine-year-old girl and bring her to Norway. Some of the children called the man “Daddy.”

Investigators both in Norway and the Philippines fear such cases have become “big business,” with men in Europe, Australia, the US and elsewhere paying poor families to subject their children to sexual abuse so they can watch from afar. The Norwegian man remains in custody, with his case due to come up in court in November. Berglund



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