A German mother and her partner who sold the woman’s young son to paedophiles on the dark web have both been jailed after a case that has horrified the country.
The woman, identified as Berrin T, 48, and partner, identified as Christian L., 39, were found guilty of rape, aggravated sexual assault of children, forced prostitution and distribution of child pornography.
Berrin was sentenced to 12 years and six months by a court in Freiburg, while Christian, the boy’s stepfather, was jailed for 12 years.
The court ruled that the man, who had a previous conviction for child abuse, must remain in preventive custody after serving his sentence.
The boy, who was nine when the trial began in June, was repeatedly sexually abused by Spanish paedophile Javier Gonzalez Diaz.
Diaz received a 10-year prison sentence for 14 counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of rape and one count of bodily harm while making child pornography.
Video footage catalogued the horror of the boy’s abuse, which included him being tied up and subjected to verbal humiliation.
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He had been sold on the dark web, a part of the Internet that is hidden from mainstream search engines.
The case only came to light following an anonymous tip in September 2017.
It led to the arrest of eight people who have been charged with belonging to an online paedophile ring.
Three of those arrested have now been convicted.
The couple was also ordered to pay a total of 42,500 euro (£38,000) in compensation to the boy and another victim, a young girl.
Local authorities in Germany have been accused of failing to protect the boy, who now lives with a foster family.
The mother’s partner was supposed to be banned from having contact with children.
The boy was taken out of the family home in March last year, but was sent back weeks later by a local court.