Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Over 1,000 Danes charged for shar­ing sex video

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COPEN­HAGEN: More than 1,000 peo­ple, mostly teenagers, face pre­lim­i­nary charges of dis­tribut­ing child pornog­ra­phy af­ter shar­ing videos and pho­tos of two 15-year-olds hav­ing sex, the Dan­ish Na­tional Po­lice said on Mon­day.

More peo­ple could be charged for spread­ing the im­ages, the po­lice said. The ma­te­rial could con­sti­tute dis­tri­bu­tion of child pornog­ra­phy even though 15 is the age of con­sent in Den­mark.

Po­lice spokesman Flem­ming Kjaer­side said “young peo­ple know it can have huge con­se­quences” to share such ma­te­rial, although he ac­knowl­edged they may not know it is a crime.

So far 1,004 peo­ple across Den­mark are fac­ing pre­lim­i­nary charges – a step short of for­mal charges. If found guilty, they could face fines, jail or be banned from work­ing with chil­dren for a decade.

Two videos – one 50 sec­onds long, the other nine sec­onds – and pho­tos were shared through Face­book’s Mes­sen­ger chat plat­form last fall and po­lice said any­one who for­warded the video vi­o­lated the law against dis­tribut­ing child pornog­ra­phy.

The case prompted out­rage when it was first re­ported last year be­cause the video ap­par­ently showed the girl be­ing abused with for­eign ob­jects. The girl later said she con­sented to sex but not to the abuse or the record­ing.

Pros­e­cu­tors will now de­cide whether to pro­ceed with charges and take the cases to trial. In­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into whether the video was dis­trib­uted on plat­forms other than Face­book.

“It may sound very dra­matic that we’re charg­ing with child pornog­ra­phy,” said Kjaer­side. “Many had no in­ten­tion to distribute child pornog­ra­phy but ob­jec­tively speak­ing, that’s what they’ve done.”

Those found guilty in the Dan­ish case are un­likely to go to prison but the con­vic­tions will re­main on their records for 10 years, bar­ring them from be­com­ing po­lice of­fi­cers and from tak­ing cer­tain jobs work­ing with chil­dren.

The case came to light af­ter Face­book alerted the Na­tional Cen­ter for Miss­ing and Ex­ploited Chil­dren in the US, which in turn con­tacted Amer­i­can and in­ter­na­tional au­thor­i­ties.

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