Guardia Civil rescues infant victim from online sexual abuse

by Lorraine Williamson
sexual abuse

MADRID – Europol task force identified the abuser, leading to the arrest of a 32-year-old father in Madrid by the Guardia Civil for the sexual abuse of his 6-month-old daughter.

The arrest came after specialists in the investigation of technological child sexual abuse discovered a deeply disturbing video circulating on pedophilic forums in the Deep Web.

The immediate priority for the authorities was to ensure the safety of the infant victim. Using sophisticated tools, police databases, and international collaboration, the investigators analysed the video’s characteristics. This led to the full identification of both the perpetrator and the victim. The Guardia Civil swiftly executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence, resulting in the arrest of the perpetrator and the immediate protection of the infant victim.

Sexually abusing his own baby daughter

The investigation uncovered a horrifying cache of evidence, with over 120 gigabytes of data analyzed within 24 hours. The suspect’s laptop and mobile device contained hundreds of files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors. Shockingly, many of these abusive acts were directed at the suspect’s own daughter. Moreover, it was evident that the abuse had persisted over time.

Simultaneously, upon informing the mother of the victim about the investigation, she identified her daughter and her husband as the individuals in the video. She further confirmed the location of the abuse as their current family residence. The judicial authority subsequently ordered the preventive detention of the accused pending trial.

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The arrest was part of the Guardia Civil’s ongoing participation in the 13th edition of the Task Force for the Identification of Victims of Minor Sexual Assault (VIDTF) led by Europol. In this recent edition, three minors subjected to sexual abuse were located, and two perpetrators, including the father in this case, were apprehended.

Nearly 700 children saved and over 200 offenders arrested

Since 2014, Europol’s VIDTF has brought together experts worldwide to focus on unsolved cases of child sexual abuse. Over 695 children have been safeguarded, and 228 offenders have been arrested as a result of VIDTF operations.

The Guardia Civil emphasised the importance of vigilance and parental control in protecting children online. Internet anonymity has become a tool for sexual predators, who exploit it to distribute and store pedophilic material. The correlation between early exposure to pornography and the risk of engaging in child sexual abuse behaviours brings home the need for supervision and parental control in children’s internet access.

Basic safety tips from the Guardia Civil for parents

  1. Control the contact children have with adults who are not fully trusted, not allowing it without adult supervision.
  2. Install parental control programs on devices to monitor content and access by children.
  3. Restrict access to specific websites, programs, and online activities based on age-appropriate guidelines.
  4. Regularly communicate with children about their internet usage, gaining insight into what they view and search for, and identifying potential concerns.

Also read: Avoid “hitman” or “pimp” online scams

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