The alarming rise of child rape orders on the Internet

Image caption – A person typing on a computer keyboard – Nicholas Asfouri © 2019 AFP

In three years, the number of files processed by police relating to orders to record criminal videos of children has risen from 6 to 27, and authorities fear the increase will continue. The concept is filthy: it is a matter of France requesting online a video of a live rape (live broadcast) carried out on a child abroad. This phenomenon has been known for several years, but the months of Covid and imprisonment seem to have precipitated this criminal practice.

rape videos on demand

This is a production, at the request of pedophiles, of videos created offline or live. French child sexual abuse itself can give clues about the sexual practices he would like to witness, even the violence he would like the child to be subjected to. “So he became a rape video director,” an investigator describes to BFMTV.

“The offender places an order for the type of minors and acts he desires and receives, so far, either graphic content or a communication link that allows him to directly follow the abuse and even the ability to order the type of acts committed,” he explained at the end of February to Figaro Laurie Piqueau, the Paris public prosecutor.

Child criminals make these despicable orders on dark web But also on legal sites. Victims live mainly in poor countries: we find them mainly in the Philippines, but also in Eastern European countries such as Romania, or even in South America.

Note that the price of a rape video is estimated between 30 and 70 euros. This is a rather large amount in the countries of the victims, but it is ridiculous for the French criminals who pay it.

growing phenomenon

This phenomenon appeared in 2005/2006 and the first file was created in France in 2011. But for three years, the number of cases has been increasing: 6 files were processed by the Central Office for the Suppression of Violence against Persons (OCRVP). ) in 2020, 10 files in 2021 and 27 files since the beginning of 2022.

“It is already a growing phenomenon in our eyes, particularly linked to the Covid crisis that has forced consumers and child sex offenders to change their habits,” explains Frederic Courtau, Vice President of OCRVP at BFMTV. Sex tourism was impossible during this time and “they had to actually turn to technology”.

According to our information, between 250 and 300 French pedophiles participate in this practice. “We estimate that by the end of this year, we will have opened a hundred investigations,” says Laurie Peckow.

How are the perpetrators tracked?

It is difficult to identify the perpetrators of these crimes, because these are live video exchanges, which are not necessarily recorded.

To track their path, investigators use much of the reporting of Tracfin, this French intelligence service responsible for combating tax evasion or terrorist financing. Hence it specifies transfers of often small amounts (30, 50 or even 70 euros) from France to the Philippines. When they notice the frequency of these transmissions, they investigate and intervene if necessary.

‘We cannot identify the victims’

However, “we cannot identify these victims,” laments our antenna Nathalie Bouquet, a lawyer for Innocence in Danger, an association that advocates for child victims of violence. “We have investigators traveling to these countries hoping to be able to identify the victims. Once they are identified, there is the language barrier, the difficulty of the French reparations system…” she explains.

“Today we’re really doing a symbolic job first of trying to get a name for these kids,” the lawyer says.

“Our role is to put the children back into the heart of these files, so that they are not just numbers in the files, so that we can say their names, we know what they have been through, and what that means,” FranceInfo Ludivine Piron, of the NGO ECPAT (End child prostitution, child pornography and child trafficking for sexual purposes). “It is our role to remember that behind the pictures, children are being sexually assaulted or raped.”

What is the expected sentence?

Currently, the Paris public prosecutor’s office is looking at 20 investigations into facts of this nature and, next year, this could lead to the first funeral trial in France. In 2020, a man was sentenced to five years in prison for watching live, online, sexual assaults on young girls in the Philippines. He was then tried for possession and dissemination of child pornography, as well as for complicity in the sexual abuse of minors under the age of 15.

Case law has recently developed on this subject. From now on, people arrested for watching these porn videos live can be prosecuted for “complicity in rape”. This means that they are risking as much as an act of rape: 20 years in prison.

“It’s not just the possession of child pornography,” explains BFMTV Aurélien Brouillet, Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office and assistant department for minors. It is about “complicity in rape, complicity in human trafficking, with these two complicity which is done by instigation. That is, we will command something, and therefore without doing it, in fact, this criminal act cannot take place.”

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