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German convicted of trafficking for child porn, draws life term

By: - Senior Reporter / @adorCDN
/ 05:28 AM July 07, 2018

CEBU CITY—A German belonging to a global child pornography syndicate was convicted by a court on Friday of qualified trafficking and child abuse, and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Thomas Michael Ruhland, 46, had taken nude pictures of two teenage girls at a motel in Talisay City in 2011, and was found to be operating for the child porn syndicate.

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He was meted life imprisonment for qualified trafficking and 20 years in jail for child abuse.

Ruhland, who has been detained at the Cebu provincial jail, was also ordered to pay a fine of at least P3.4 million to his victims, aged 16 and 14.

Judge Jose Andal, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 24 in Cebu City, gave credence to the testimonies of victims over the denial of the accused.

Vulnerable

“This court is fully convinced and so finds that the accused performed all the elements in the commission of the offense,” he said.

The ruling said Ruhland “did maintain and hire the victims to engage in pornography.”

“He took advantage of their vulnerability to attain his purpose of exploiting them,” it said.

When the verdict was read, Ruhland was represented by a temporary counsel since his lawyer, Salvador Solima, was killed at home in the village of Guadalupe, Cebu City, just last Monday.

Lawyer Noemi Truya-Abarientos, of Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB), said she expected Ruhland to bring his case to the Court of Appeals.

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Abarientos said CLB, which actively prosecuted Ruhland, was elated by the outcome of the case.

“Justice is served, and we hope that this trend continues,” she said.

Help from NBI

“They can’t do things like these to our children,” she added.

The father of one of the girls exploited by Ruhland earlier sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas after he learned that her daughter went with the trafficker.

NBI agents executed an entrapment operation, which led to the arrest of Ruhland at a motel in Talisay City on Feb. 2, 2011.

Two girls were rescued during the operation.

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TAGS: conviction, court, Crime, german, trafficking
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