Among them are representatives of all social classes, including a local politician, two teachers, a teacher in a home for disabled children, sports trainers and an engineer, said the head of the new youth department at the Criminal Investigation Department (Ofmin), Quentin Bevan, to the AFP news agency.
According to Bevan, who coordinated this week’s raids, police focused their search on men who had regular contact with children. During house searches, investigators confiscated more than 100,000 pedo-criminal videos and photos stored on computers, hard drives or other digital media. Some of them were “extremely violent,” Bevan said.
Around a dozen of those arrested, including the educator, are suspected of having sexually harassed or raped minors. The educator was convicted of rape decades ago, but was allowed to change his identity – and was therefore able to work with children again, Bevan reported.
The investigations showed that users of child pornography on the Internet could eventually take action themselves, he added. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin spoke on the online service X (formerly Twitter) of a “big blow against pedocrime”. According to him, the investigation is still ongoing.
“These photos are not virtual, there are thousands of victims, vulnerable beings who have been raped and in many cases suffered torture and other cruelties,” said Martine Brousse, president of the association La Voix de l’enfant (The Voice of the Child ) the station BFMTV. She called on the judiciary and the Interior Ministry to do everything possible to find the victims.
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