Court: Images of babysitters’ sexual abuse of children too “shocking” to show in hearing
The images allegedly recorded by a Limburg couple accused of sexual abuse are “shocking,” the judges presiding over the case said on Tuesday. The court made the statement during the trial where the suspects are accused of abusing seven girls.
Initially, the intention was that the images would be shown during a hearing. However, the court decided against that. The judges looked at the footage in the council chamber, and then spent hours on Tuesday explaining all the horrific acts. "A compelling, coarse and rough tone of the woman towards the children can be heard. The children can be seen in desperation, sadness and fear."
The court case against 54-year-old Nancy D. and her 59-year-old partner, Peter S., started on Tuesday morning in the Den Bosch courtroom. They are suspected of the sexual abuse of seven girls between the ages of one and six. D. worked as a babysitter, while S. watched the abuse via webcam. D. is also accused of edited videos of the abuse before sending them to S.
The two met in early 2018 through a dating site. Soon their relationship was characterized by sexual fantasies that included raping D.’s daughter, child pornography, bestiality, Nazism, and sadomasochism. Each has accused the other of being in charge and leading the abuse.
In August 2019, Nancy D. registered on two websites that served as a platform for babysitters. She offered her services there as a nanny for a low hourly rate, and even lowered her rates further over time. She started babysitting young girls in the Eindhoven area. The children were used for the couple's far-reaching sexual fantasies. Several victims were also raped several times. While babysitting, the woman received instructions from her partner. Again, they each point to the other as initiators.
D. confessed to many of the horrific crimes in court on Tuesday. The first girl to be abused was six years old and disclosed details to her mother at the end of 2019. For their later victims, they therefore chose six younger girls starting at the age of one. While she was looking after the children, Peter S. watched live from a distance and gave assignments about how D. should abuse the children. In addition, she made films for S. when he could not watch live.
In messages sent between the two, children were referred to as "kabs," an abbreviation for kabouters, the Dutch word for "gnomes." Their parents were referred to as "begetters," or "originators." Peter S. acted as the Master or the God. D. was the submissive. She said, "I didn't do it for myself. I only did it for one man." S. said that much of the blame for creating and leading the situation also lies with Nancy D.
D. told the judges that in retrospect she wonders how she was able to do these things. "The assignments had to be done. I didn't pay attention to the emotions. I flipped a switch."
The case came out in 2021, when one of the parents saw images of the abuse. The victims and their parents were not present at the trial on Tuesday. A call has been made on their behalf to be extremely cautious about their privacy. The names of the children have been withheld by the court, with the victims only identified by their initials. The court chair said, "It is unknown how much memory they will have of the facts and whether they will be harmed by it."
The trial will continue on Thursday. Then behavioral experts will speak about the suspects. Parents, through their lawyers, will provide victim statements. Four days were originally set aside for the trial. Prosecutors will make their recommendation about sentencing demands on Monday. The verdict is expected on March 13.
Reporting by ANP