The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday said the Philippine government will leave no stone unturned in going after online sexual predators as it lauded a United States court for sentencing a man who victimized Filipino children as young as five years old.
The DOJ was informed that 41-year-old Benjamin Walter of Alabama state was sentenced to 160 years in prison on October 2021 — four counts of producing and attempting to produce child pornography and one count each of receiving and distributing child pornography.
He used the internet to seek images and live transmissions of the violent sexual abuse of Filipino children.
“The conviction of Benjamin Walter is a triumph not just for his victims but also for other victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. Online exploitation of children is one of the vilest of crimes that prey upon the most vulnerable — our innocent children. Most of them are left scarred for life and it is important for their complete recovery and healing that their abusers are held accountable for their crimes,” DOJ spokesperson Undersecretary Emmeline Villar said in a text message.
Villar said the Philippines has the highest incidence of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) in the world and the numbers keep on growing every year.
“But the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking has responded with great force to eradicate OSEC in the Philippines. Each year our rescues of abuse and exploited children, investigations of OSEC, cases filed, and convictions secured are increasing due to our continued efforts to strengthen and scale up our response against OSEC,” Villar added.
Walter, the US DOJ said, used two web service provider accounts to seek women in the Philippines to sexually abuse even their own children and relatives.
Walter’s deals spanned approximately three years and included directions to arrange gang rape and sexually assault children.
He sent money to the Philippines for the videos, images, and live transmissions in USD25 to USD50 increments.
He also sent and received emails to which senders attached images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts with adult men.
The website lawandcrime.com likewise cited North Carolina man Jacob Daylen Ross, 47, who received a 55-year sentence in January for paying a Filipino woman to sexually abuse children over a video livestream, and Charles Lee Frazier who received a 27-year sentence in November 2021 for paying impoverished Filipino mothers for explicit pictures of them sexually abusing their children. (PNA)