High-profile child porn case to be heard in Knysna court

Police say they've zoned in on another 75 men globally implicated in a child porn syndicate.

Picture: Saps

CAPE TOWN - A child pornography case will be heard in the Knysna regional court this morning.

A 37-year-old accused, one of dozens of men arrested across the country, is appearing on charges related to the distribution of sexually explicit images of children.

The photographs are believed to have been circulated worldwide.

The investigation has now been concluded following the arrest of William Beale in January.

Police say they have zoned in on another 75 men, including Beale, who have been implicated in a child pornography syndicate.

Thirty-four of them are expected to be arrested soon while the others have already been charged.

A further 140 suspects across the world have also been identified.

GLOBAL PHENOMENON

News broke earlier this month about widespread child pornography in Pakistan and police there arrested the main accused and four others for allegedly using children's images and videos to create sexual material.

Reports have emerged that boys and girls, some aged 14, were repeatedly preyed upon by a gang of paedophiles over a number of years and their sexual violation filmed.

The report said at least 280 children were filmed being sexually abused by a gang.

The perpetrators then blackmailed the victims and their families into paying them large sums of money in exchange for not making the videos public.

TEXAS ARRESTS

A Texas daycare worker was arrested last week on charges that she produced pornography with a little girl in her care, prosecutors said.

Christina Cortez, 38, of Corpus Christi, is charged with making the sexually explicit images and sending them to Matthew Harbin, 29, of Brownsville, who faces similar charges, federal prosecutors said.

The crime was uncovered when Harbin sent the images to an undercover officer in England, using the e-mail address "dirtysickmind@yahoo.com," said US Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Harbin told the undercover officer he had more photos, and later sent five more pictures of the same little girl in more graphic poses.

Magidson said Cortez told Harbin that she wanted to engage in sexual activity with children.

Magidson said Harbin also is in custody. The daycare centre was not identified, and officials did not say how old the child was.

Additional information by Reuters