June 19, 2007 in Nation/World

Online pedophile ring busted

D'arcy Doran Associated Press
 

LONDON – A team of international investigators infiltrated an Internet chat room used by pedophiles who streamed live videos of children being raped, rescuing 31 children and identifying more than 700 suspects worldwide.

Undercover officers in Britain, the U.S., Canada and Australia busted the pedophile ring.

The chat room, which was called “Kids the Light of Our Lives,” featured images, including live videos, of children – some only months old – being subjected to sexual abuse, said Jim Gamble, chief executive of Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center.

“You could go and if you were in the club, arrange a time and a place when online you could view a child being raped and brutalized in real time,” he said.

Police analyzed images and videos traded by the chat room’s members for the smallest clues that could help them identify, locate and rescue the victims.

More than 15 children were found in Britain, Gamble said, declining to give further details. A Canadian official said authorities there arrested 24 Canadians and rescued seven Canadian children as part of the probe.

Investigators made the case public after the sentencing of ringleader Timothy David Martyn Cox on Monday.

Cox, 27, was given an indeterminate sentence, meaning he will remain in prison until he is no longer a threat to children.

British police infiltrated the chat room posing as contributors. They traced the host to a farmhouse in Buxhall, 90 miles northeast of London, where Cox lived with his parents and sister. He had operated the chat room out of his bedroom.

“(This was) not sharing a historic video … but a child brought into a room – on Web cam – and brutalized for the pleasure of some deviant individual,” Gamble said.

© Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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