Pregnant cyberporn operator caught
POLICE arrested a pregnant woman in her twenties on Saturday for allegedly engaging in cyberpornography in Cordova town.
Donna, not her real name, was arrested by the operatives of the Women and Children Protection Center-Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) in an entrapment operation in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova, yesterday.
Senior Supt. Romeo Perigo, WCPC-VFU chief, told Cebu Daily News that they have been monitoring the woman for several months to catch her in the act of engaging in cyberpornography by abusing children as young as 3 years old.
“We successfully caught her in the act inside a small house in Cordova,” said Perigo.
Perigo said they caught Donna offering to sexually abuse two of the victims — both girls aged 3 and 12 — in exchange for money from online predators.
Authorities are withholding the name of the suspect because she is related to some of the victims, either as sister or cousin.
Donna, who is in her mid-20s, had transmitted online sexually explicit materials involving one of the rescued minors, said Perigo.
“During the entrapment, the suspect sexually abused the two girls and live-streamed those acts to get money from a foreigner online,” said Perigo.
The operatives, together with the International Justice Mission (IJM), were able to rescue other girls and boys from online sexual exploitation during the operation that began at around 10 a.m.
A source from IJM said that the house used by Donna for her cyberpornography operation belongs to the grandmother of some of the victims. The grandmother is also under investigation for being an accomplice.
Two boys, aged 5 and 7, who were inside the house when the arresting officers barged in, were being assessed by social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) to find out if they also suffered abuse at the hands of the suspected trafficker.
A teenage girl was rescued in a follow-up operation at a separate location in Cordova about an hour after the entrapment, according to the source.
At around 4 p.m., two more teenage girls who were previously offered for online cyberpornography by Donna were taken into custody by social workers.
In an official statement, lawyer John Tanagho, IJM field office director, lauded the police for the arrest.
“IJM praises the excellent work of WCPC Visayas operatives in this case. Because of their courage, more young children are now safe from online sexual exploitation and another suspected online trafficker has been arrested so she can never abuse children again. We encourage members of the community to report cases of online exploitation to WCPC so that the violent abuse of children can be stopped,” said Tanagho.
Donna, who is now being held at the Cordova Police Station, is the seventh person to be arrested in Cebu this year by operatives from WCPC-VFU for engaging in Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC).
Last May 16, a mother was arrested; and three teenage girls, including her own daughter, were rescued in San Fernando, Cebu.
Anti-OSEC operations also took place in Cordova and Talisay City last April 23, and in Lapu-Lapu City last February 26, March 22 and March 23.
The suspected trafficker will be charged under Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act as amended by RA 10364, and RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act in relation to RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
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