Man gets prison, treatment for sexually abusing 24 children in Gelderland village

Child with teddy bear
Child with teddy bear. (Photo: AndrewLozovyi/DepositPhotos)

Anthony B. was sentenced to 40 months in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment for child sex abuse and child pornography. The court found him guilty of sexually abusing 24 predominantly minor victims in the Gelderland village of Alem, De Gelderlander reports.

The 46-year-old man was arrested in July last year after an 11-year-old girl told her parents that something strange had happened during a sleepover at the house of her friend, B.'s daughter. She woke up in the middle of the night when she felt her underwear being moved aside. She saw B. take photos of her.

Investigation showed that the man had been doing this for years - a revelation that rocked Alem, a village with less than 600 residents. B. was arrested a few days later. The authorities initially suspected him of sexually abusing five girls between 2015 and 2018. In January the Public Prosecutor announced that there were many more victims, after a massive amount of child pornography was found on his computers.

A total of 24 girls were identified in the child pornography. Most of them were of primary school age. One victim is B.'s niece, who was 3-years-old at the time of the abuse. Most of the victims didn't realize they were being photographed.

In total over 35 thousand images of child pornography were found on B.'s computers and data carriers. The man claims that there's no more, but the Public Prosecutor doubts this. Just before his arrest, the man managed to destroy and dispose of multiple hard drives, the Prosecutor said. 

Experts determined that B. has a pedophilic disorder and is not completely accountable for his actions. 

The Public Prosecutor demanded five years in prison against the man. The court decided to give him a shorter sentence, with institutionalized psychiatric treatment. In order to prevent recurrence, it is important that the man receives long-term and intensive treatment, the court ruled. A shorter prison sentence means that the treatment can start sooner. The court also ordered the man to pay compensation to 15 of his victims. The amounts range between 750 and 6,200 euros.

B. confessed to some of his crimes. He expressed regret and feels that he must pay for what he has done, he told the court. He agreed that he needs treatment and said he is willing to cooperate, according to the newspaper. 

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