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Online sex trafficker gets 31 years for selling, abusing young boys

By: Doris C. Bongcac - Editor/CDN Digital | March 11,2020 - 03:03 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines– A 34-year-old man from Cebu City was sentenced to at least 31 years in prison after pleading guilty to the attempted trafficking of two boys, aged 9 and 14 and for acts of lasciviousness.

Joey Michael Donozo entered a plea bargaining agreement and confessed to the crime of attempted trafficking which is a violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364) and 16 counts of acts of lasciviousness in violation of the Revised Penal Code, said a press release from the International Justice Mission (IJM).

Under plea bargaining agreements, the accused enters a not guilty plea to the original charge filed against him but to other similar offenses, usually before a court trial starts. This protects child victims from the possibility of having to testify against the perpetrators who are often family members or neighbors, reducing possible trauma on the child victim.

Police investigation showed that Donozo sexually abused the two boys to produce Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) which he later on distributed to foreign sex offenders.  He also sold minors to foreigners traveling to Cebu.

On March 10, 2020, Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 22 Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenox sentenced Donozo to serve 15 years in prison for the crime of attempted trafficking and another 16 years for a separate complaint for acts of lasciviousness that was also filed against him.

Judge Xenox also ordered him to pay P600,000 to each of his victims.

 “Children are safer in Cebu because of the Court’s conviction of Joey Donozo.  The young boys whom he trafficked and sexually abused to create child sexual abuse materials are safe from his predatory acts.  In fact, restraining Donozo has protected all other vulnerable children whom he would have abused for years to come were it not for his arrest and conviction.  IJM has seen over and over again that when violent offenders are held accountable, the abuse of children dramatically decreases as impunity is replaced with accountability,” said IJM Cebu Field Office Director John Tanagho.

“To those who are perpetrating this crime against our children, you will be caught eventually. You will soon be put behind bars and be held accountable for your crime,” said Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Noel Cellona.

Donozo was arrested on February 16, 2019, after he offered two underage boys – aged 9 and 14 at the time – for commercial sexual exploitation. He also previously transmitted online sexually explicit images involving one of the boys in exchange for money from foreigners.

Members of the Women and Children Protection Center – Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted the operation in Cebu City and rescued the boys.

The operation stemmed from a case referral from the Australian Federal Police to the PNP which said that Donozo was engaged in the sex trafficking of minors by selling young Filipino boys to foreigners for sexually explicit acts. Donozo also produced Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM) by filming minors in sexually explicit acts.

The WCPC-VFU operation was supported by the Central Visayas offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7), the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT-7), the Cebu City Police Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics and Women and Children Protection Desk, and the IJM.

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TAGS: guilty, IJM

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