Woman from Lapu-Lapu gets 15 years for online exploitation of niece
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – A 31-year-old woman from Lapu-Lapu City will be spending 15 years in jail for exploiting her niece online in exchange for cash.
The woman (name withheld) was also directed to pay a fine of not less than P500,000 and not more than P1 million by Judge Christine Muga-Abad of Regional Trial Court Branch 70 in Lapu-Lapu City who released her order on Friday, March 26.
The woman was arrested after she was served a search warrant, which was enforced by operatives of the Women and Children Protection Center Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) on November 24, 2016.
During their search, police found child sexual exploitation materials (CSEMs) and drug residue and paraphernalia.
“The officers were able to seize a smartphone and a tablet belonging to the suspect. Contained in these devices were several CSEMs in which one of the sexually exploited children was identified as the perpetrator’s own niece. This was the same suspect who pleaded guilty to other offenses related to online sexual exploitation,” a statement released by the International Justice Mission (IJM) read.
A complaint for qualified trafficking in persons was filed against her in 2017.
IJM said that the suspect entered a guilty plea and agreed to plea bargaining.
“The survivor from the case is currently staying in a DSWD accredited shelter undergoing the necessary trauma informed intervention to begin the path towards restoration,” the IJM statement read.
“Effective law enforcement through arrests, prosecution and conviction of criminals, is a strong deterrence that will keep the children in our communities safe from online sexual exploitation,” said Lawyer Lucille Dejito, director of the IJM Cebu Field Office.
Online sexual exploitation of children is a crime that violates the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 9208 (as amended by RA 10364), which comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million.
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