German couple who sold son to paedophiles jailed for 12 years

Erika Holt
August 8, 2018

Her husband Christian Lais, the boy's stepfather whom he called "papa", received a 12-year sentence followed by preventive detention.

She did not explain her actions, but her partner did speak a lot in court during the two-month trial, Spiegel reported.

Lais, 39, had a previous conviction for child abuse, raising questions why he was allowed to live in a home with a child present.

The 48-year-old woman and 39-year-old man were accused of repeatedly abusing and raping the boy, now 10, and selling him to other men on the darknet, an area of the internet that can be visited only by using special software, for more than two years.

A German mother and her partner have been sentenced to prison for selling the woman's son, now ten years old, to pedophiles on the internet in a case that has horrified the nation.

A 33-year-old Spanish man who was offered the boy for sex by his mother was found guilty of repeatedly raping him.

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"The suspect allegedly stuck a black handgun to the boy's stomach, demanded money and fled the scene on foot", the office stated. Deputies believe the suspect left a bicycle in the brush for his getaway. "That one takes it to a new level".

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The case came to light following an anonymous tip last September, and led to the arrest of eight people who have been charged with belonging to an online paedophile ring.

The stepfather has a previous conviction for paedophilia.

The couple have been ordered to pay the boy 30,000 euros ($35,000) in compensation, and 12,500 euros ($14,500) to the girl.

The trial has also raised concerns that officials might sometimes wrongly presume that a woman is incapable of abusing her own child.

The abuse was filmed. Christian was supposed to be barred from having contact with children and the boy was removed from the couple's custody in March 2017. As for Berrin, the judge described her as initially participating in the scheme in order to maintain her relationship with Christian but says she then became motivated by money; videos of the abuse were also sold on the darknet.

The case has shocked German society - and local authorities have been accused of failing to protect the boy, who now lives with a foster family.

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