Police nab Filipino ‘crush fetish’ couple
MANILA, Philippines—Police have arrested a couple accused of making dozens of videos showing teenage girls torturing and killing animals that were then posted and viewed on “crush fetish” Internet sites worldwide.
Vicente Ridon and his wife Dorma Ridon are to stand trial in the northern city of San Fernando after they were tracked down at a rented house in a remote village, Senior Inspector Martin Ngadao, the local police chief, said Thursday.
“We got them two days ago, but they have already posted bail,” Ngadao told Agence France-Presse by telephone from Burgos town.
The case stemmed from year-long sleuthing by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on the sale of so-called “crush” videos via Internet chat groups to people overseas who wanted to watch the footage for thrills.
After the animal rights group reported the crimes to authorities, police charged the Ridon couple with animal cruelty, child abuse and human trafficking earlier this year.
However, the pair fled before they could be arrested.
The rights group said a P100,000 bounty ($2,360) for information on the couple nine days ago helped the police track them down.
“The ‘crush’ videos depict extreme cruelty to animals, including a rabbit… skinned alive, rabbits as they flailed and screamed while their ears were cut off and as they were set on fire,” it said in a statement.
They also included a dog burned with a clothes iron, a monkey and several dogs hit in the eye with a stiletto heel, and puppies crushed until they vomited.
Peta said that it expects the trial to start within the year.
Six girls aged between 12 and 18 had been coerced into the cruel acts over two years after initially being lured to the couple’s home to work as babysitters, it said.
Torture of animals is punishable by up to six months in jail, and up to three years in jail for the commercial exploitation of children. The penalty for trafficking children is life imprisonment.
While this was the first “crush” video case in the Philippines, there have been many cases in recent years of police raiding operations in which girls and women perform sex acts in front of cameras for overseas Internet clients.
Widespread poverty drives girls and women into the “cybersex” business.
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