2 Swedes get life for cybersex crimes
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE) A local court here sentenced to life imprisonment two Swede nationals for running a cybersex den in which naked women performed acts for clients watching over the Internet.
In a decision dated May 6, Judge Jeoffre Acebido of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental Branch 41, found Bo Stefan Sederholm, 31, and Emil Andreas Solemo, 35, guilty of violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
“Disrespect for Filipino women and violations of our laws deserve the strongest condemnations from this court,” court clerk Nelison Salcedo quoted regional trial court Judge Jeoffre Acebido as saying in his ruling.
The court ordered both men to pay a fine of P2 million each.
Acebido in his decision said the court “will not shirk from its duty to impose the most severe penalties against anybody, be he a foreign national or a citizen of this country, who tramples upon the dignity of a woman by taking advantage of her vulnerability.”
Three others, all Filipinos, were also found guilty by the court. Andrea Galdones Romero, Arvy Pablo Baylon, and Aminoding Lomangcolob Rangaig were all ordered to serve 20 years in prison and pay a fine of P1 million each.
Abdul Barry Usman Imam, Yusoph Mama, Jr., and a third man, whose identity remained unknown, were sentenced in absentia.
Lalae Garcia, chairperson of the Tubaga Movement, an umbrella organization of women and children’s rights advocates, hailed the decision saying it was a major victory in the campaign against sex predators.
“We are happy that the court delivered a sound and profound judgement based on the merits of the case and the evidence presented,” Garcia said.
Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente called it a landmark decision “in favor of women and children and against consumerism and greed for profits.”
He said the case should serve as a guide to other courts handling similar cases.
The two Swedes and their Filipino cohorts were arrested on April 23, 2009 by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Northern Mindanao and the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office during a raid on a cybersex den in a three-storey building in Barangay Kauswagan here.
During the raid, authorities rescued 17 female minors and seized various sex toys and gadgets.
The minors were being used as nude models in an elaborate cybersex operation with foreign clientele.
According to one of the rescued minors, they were paid P15,000 a month in exchange for posing nude while chatting with clients via webcam.
The foreigners beam the live videos of the young girls through www.livejasmin.com, a pornographic site registered under Portuguese company Lalib Management and Investments, which gave its address as Rua Brigadeiro Oudinot, Edifício Oudinot, 3rd Floor, Room 317 P-9060-209 Funchal, Portugal.
The website, which charges its clients on a per minute basis, remained live on the World Wide Web as of press time.
The two Swedes and the three other convicts, now detained at the Lumbia City Jail, will be transferred either to Davao Penal Colony or to the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa to serve their sentences, sources said. With Agence France-Presse
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