Published on November 19th, 1997 | by admin0
Ex – DJ named in police raid on child-sex ring
Posted: November 19, 1997
By Michele Legge
Child protection activists say they were saddened, but not shocked, by the announcement from Czech police that an international pedophile ring based in Prague has been smashed.
Police detained five men, between the ages of 42 and 56, during the early morning sweep on Nov. 11. Three of the suspected pedophiles were French, one British and one American. One of the Frenchmen was later released due to lack of evidence, said Zdenek Janicek, director of the Prague Office of Investigation.
The 56-year-old British citizen is thought to be Chris Denning, a former Radio One disc jockey, the British daily The Guardian reported Nov. 13.
Janicek was not able to confirm or deny the report. Denning is believed to have been the group’s ringleader. He masterminded the activities of a gang that police say lured boys as young as 7 from downtown video-game arcades to a Prague 2 apartment, using bribes of up to 1,000 Kc ($30) in cash and also drugs. The boys used the money mostly to fuel their gambling habits, Janicek said, and so far 15 boys, up to 22 years of age, have been identified. However, police suspect that more are involved.
The boys were encouraged to fondle each other’s genitalia and have sex with the older men. Their actions were caught on film and video, and distributed internationally via the Internet and other networks.
The police raid was the result of a two-month investigation involving British, Dutch, German, French and American police. Janicek would not give details of how the gang’s activities were traced because investigations are continuing and more arrests could be made. But insiders say the police were tipped off by a convicted pedophile involved with the gang.
Portuguese police on Nov. 7 detained a man suspected of involvement in a pedophile ring with links to the Czech Republic.Interior Ministry spokesman Jan Subert said the Czech Republic is a magnet for pedophile operations because it is relatively cheap to both set up and employ boys.
Zuzana Baudysova, director of Nadace Nase dite (Our Children Foundation) said she was shocked, but not surprised, by the results of the police raid. “At our crisis center, we receive at least one call a day reporting sexual abuse,” she said. She added that she believes the situation could be improved if the Czech government ratifies Geneva Convention suggestions on the legal rights of children.
The four remaining suspects are being held in custody. They should face trial in two to three months on charges of sexual abuse and endangering the morals of a minor. If convicted, they face up to eight years in prison. The American is also charged with possession of what Subert called “a small amount” of the drug hashish. If convicted of what Subert called this “more serious” crime, he could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
By Michele Legge