Prison sentence sought for alleged Dutch pedophile

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2012 12:03 PM
Prison sentence sought for alleged Dutch pedophile

Dutch prosecutors demanded a 20-year prison sentence Thursday for a preschool worker accused of sexually abusing dozens of children entrusted to his care, and sharing videos of the molestation with other pedophiles on the Internet.

The defendant, identified under Dutch privacy law only as Robert M., is accused of molesting children at preschool daycare centers, and while babysitting.

The 27-year-old Latvian-born Dutch citizen has confessed to police to abusing more than 80 children, some of them very young. Most of his victims are believed to have been under four years old.

The case shocked the Netherlands when M. was arrested in December 2010 following a tip from American law enforcement authorities. The mayor of Amsterdam, police and prosecutors called a late night press conference after to announce the arrest and appeal for information on victims from parents.

The trial is nearly over, and prosecutors called the sentence demand at Amsterdam District Court an exceptional punishment for an exceptional crime. The sentence is high by Dutch standards and the maximum available. Prosecutors also asked judges to order M. to undergo mandatory psychiatric treatment, saying in a written statement that "society has a right to be protected and M. has the right to treatment."

Prosecutors say M. was "cold, calculating, refined and proud of his actions."

They also said that while he confessed to the crimes and helped police access child pornography on his computers he had expressed no remorse.

Prosecutors also demanded a 15-year prison sentence for M.'s partner, identified only as Richard van O. He is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy and making a "significant contribution" to M.'s alleged crimes. He allegedly knew about his partner's abuse for years.