May 24, 2005

Italy investigating 186 over child torture site

San Diego Union-Tribune

8:03 a.m. May 24, 2005

ROME – Italian police are investigating 186 people including three priests after uncovering an Internet pornography site for paedophiles that showed young children being tortured, an official said on Tuesday.

Police said the anonymous web site had been protected by a password and was only accessible for nine days last year in an apparent effort to avoid detection.

But a tip-off to a child-abuse telephone helpline allowed computer experts to track down the users. Besides the Roman Catholic priests, police also believe a mayor, a teacher and a doctor downloaded illegal videos.

'The children on the films were aged between 4 and 8 at most. Some were abused, others were even tortured,' said Domenico Di Somma, coordinator for the police computer investigation taskforce.

Police have confiscated computers across Italy, but have not yet pressed charges as they continue with their investigation.

Posted by kshaw at May 24, 2005 04:14 PM