A woman who sold her 7-year-old son to pedophiles on the darknet was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years jail by a German court Tuesday.
Berrin Taha, 48, was sentenced in Freiburg alongside her husband, Christian Lais, 39, the boy’s stepfather. Lais, who had a previous conviction for pedophilia, was sentenced to 12 years in jail.
The pair were part of a pedophile ring who traded children on the anonymous darknet — part of the internet where identities are hidden and criminal activity such as sharing child abuse images flourishes.
The judge said Taha had agreed to go along with Lais’ abuse of her son because she feared losing him, and subsequently for financial gain. The pair charged several thousand dollars for each instance of abuse.
The sessions with the boy were also filmed and posted online.
The case, which has scandalized Germany, has prompted serious questions about the country’s child protective services, especially in relation to how convicted pedophile Lais was allowed to live in a house with a minor.
Taha and Lais were convicted of rape, aggravated sexual assault of children, forced prostitution and distribution of child pornography.
On Monday the same court jailed Spanish pedophile Javier Gonzalez Diaz for 10 years for repeatedly sexually abusing the boy after paying the parents.
The victim, now 10, was pimped out by his parents on the darknet between May 2015 and August 2017. The police were tipped off about the pedophile ring in September last year and have since arrested and charged eight people.
Lais and Taha were ordered to pay the boy €42,500 ($50,000) in compensation, while Gonzalez Diaz was ordered to pay €33,000 ($38,250). The boy, who is now living with foster parents, is doing well “under the circumstances” his father told the court.
Cover image: The defendants, Berrin Taha and Christian Lais wait with their lawyers Martina Naegele and Matthias Wagner for the pronouncement of sentence in the courtroom of the district court in Freiburg, southern Germany, on August 7, 2018. (THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)