Daniel van der Stoep (Photo: Woeler1 / Wikimedia) - Credit: Daniel van der Stoep (Photo: Woeler1 / Wikimedia)
Prison for Ex-MEP who lured girls with cash and cocaine
Former European parliamentarian Daniel van der Stoep was convicted and sentenced by a court in the Hague on Tuesday for trying to lure three underage girls into a sexual relationship in exchange for money, smartphones and clothing. In one case the 35-year-old defendant was also willing to provide cocaine to one of the girls, with the court determining he was also guilty of repeatedly possessing the drug. He was sentenced to five months in prison, of which three were suspended, and five years of probation. He will also have to perform 240 hours of community service, the court ordered. The sentence closely matched the prosecutor's demand. The court found that he abused “the age difference, his position and status as an MEP and his ample income,” the ruling stated. His attempt to “satisfy his sexual desires” was methodical in how he pushed the girls’ boundaries, tested their limits and made incremental advances, the court said. The ruling also found that he “sought to isolate the girls from their surroundings,” by often telling them not to share details of his conversations with their parents, siblings, partners and friends. Although he did not have sex with the girls, the court determined that it was his intention to do so. In determining its ruling, the court poured over 41 different chat sessions between Van der Stoep and three different underage girls. Victim 2 and her sister are both specified in the ruling as daughters of one of Van der Stoep’s employees, believed to be a policy aide. Victim 1 and 3 are friends with the girl. All three were born in 1997. He messaged with Victim 1 while she was 16, Victim 2 while she was aged 15 to 17, and Victim 3 from when she was 15 through 16. All of the chats took place between 2012 and 2014. The instant messages portray Van der Stoep as someone who repeatedly wanted the girls to refer to him as a “suikeroompje,” similar to the English expression, “sugar daddy.” He frequently tells the girls he either transferred “pocket money” of up to 200 euro to their bank accounts, or that he took cash out of an ATM and had it ready for the girls in an envelope, the evidence showed. While chatting with Victim 2, he said he would keep giving her money as long as she would not tell her mom. In one instance, on February 18, 2013, he offered “Victim 2” an iPhone 5, also as long as she did not tell her mother about it. “But seriously, normal price is 799 euros… I do expect a nice thank you,” he stated. The conversation takes a turn from their when the girl questioned Van der Stoep’s intentions. “Look what you had in mind,” she said, “I thought that I was your ‘sister,’ you do not do such things with your sister.” Several weeks later, she pressed him to say clearly in the chat message what he wants from her in exchange for money and clothes, but he refused to spell it out. Then on March 12, he offers her over a hundred euro, if she “promises to buy lingerie.” After then calling it a joke, he closed the conversation by saying, “And really do buy lingerie. Sleep tight.” In a chat with Victim 1 spanning across February 22 and 23, Van der Stoep tried to one the girl’s convince by saying “I am trustworthy and you are the boss,” and saying “nothing happens that you do not want to happen,” all the while asking her not to tell anyone if the two meet in person. He then promises her 75 euro, but tells her that she could potentially earn 400 euro. She replied that she cannot be “bribed with money,” but he stated it is not about bribery. “But I want to be honest with you. [Victim 2] is my sister, you are her friend and you are gorgeous with a perfect body.” In other chats he told her about his fantasies of her in the shower. Van der Stoep was initially a member of the European Parliament representing anti-Islam party PVV in 2009, but he left the party after he was accused of causing a car accident while under the influence of alcohol. He served in government through July 2014.