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'Babysitter abused, filmed up to 50 young children in Amsterdam'

Monday 13 December 2010

Amsterdam police are investigating a child pornography ring which may have involved up to 50 children being abused at daycare centres and in their own homes, the city's police chief Bernard Welten told a city hall news conference on Sunday night.

A 27-year-old man known as Robert M has been arrested on suspicion of serious sexual assault on a child. M was picked up following a tip-off from the US authorities.

The public prosecution department said in a statement the US authorities came across the suspect during an investigation into child pornography.


The Dutch authorities were alerted because a number of films and photos appeared to have been made in the Netherlands.

One photo featuring M and an unnamed Dutch child was shown during tv crime show Opsporing Verzocht on December 7. The child was immediately identified and the suspect arrested.

According to the Telegraaf the abuse happened in two city crèches - the Hofnaaretje and Jenno’s Knuffelparadijs - and in private homes where M worked as a babysitter. He advertised his babysitting services via internet.

The man has confessed to abusing ‘several tens’ of children, the public prosecution statement said. A large quantity of child pornography was also found at his home.

Two other arrests

M, born in the Latvian capital Riga, married a Dutch man and took Dutch nationality in 2004. His husband, a 37-year-old Amsterdammer, was arrested and faces charges of possessing child pornography. Another man, aged 39, who worked at a crèche, has also been arrested. Neither are under suspicion of abusing children, police said.

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan said his main concern now is to ensure proper information and care for parents. ‘Something like this is the worst thing that can happen to a parent and child,’ he told a city hall news conference.

Police have also taken the unusual step in the Netherlands of releasing a photograph of the man to help parents determine if they have come into contact with him.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Shocked!!! These sick people are the worst!!! I can't imagine the pain of the parents now.

By Ezter C. | 13 December 2010 7:32 AM

The whole story is horrible. But how can a man in his 20's work as a babysitter? This is so strange.

By outsider | 13 December 2010 9:43 AM

this is really awful. we just saw the news also that the amsterdam police were told about him much earlier - and they ignored it!

By lisa | 13 December 2010 10:34 AM

How terrible for the children and their families, I hope that they manage to pick up their shattered lives and wish them well for the future.

As for how can a man in his 20s work as a babysitter - not all men are paedophiles, just as there are some women who are, it is a perversion not a thing that only men do.

By Carol | 13 December 2010 1:09 PM

50 children, 100 parents, 1 pedophile and no one in the Netherlands said or noticed anything out of the ordinary?

By AW | 13 December 2010 1:30 PM

What's strange about a man in his 20s working as a babysitter? It shouldn't be.

By CW | 13 December 2010 2:40 PM

@outsider: I dare do respectfully disagree with you. We have many female au-pairs and babysitters on their 20's in Netherlands and elsewhere. What, save for sexism or habit, would make it "strange" for a young adult male babysit?

By Andre L. | 13 December 2010 4:08 PM

This is horrible, but nowadays, I could not ever think in hiring a man as a babysitter... it looks dangerous from the beggining...

By Gabriela | 13 December 2010 4:21 PM

If baby sitters need a qualification or kind of license before doing the job, the situation could be better.

By Laura Wang | 13 December 2010 5:40 PM

Its very painful I must say. well I would never trust a man to babysit my kids be it a gal or boy. Let the parent check if the kids got infections.

By pat | 13 December 2010 5:57 PM

Many men work in childcare/kindergartens and it is good for kids to interact with both male and female teachers. The fact that there are sick individuals -like this one- should not reflect badly on all male teachers/care workers.

By Alejandra | 13 December 2010 6:58 PM

women are just as likely to sexual abuse children as men are. My husband babysat in his 20s and really enjoyed it. He's never been a pedophile either. Please don't chastise all men for the mistakes of a few.

By LJK | 13 December 2010 8:35 PM

There is apparently not really much, if any, background checking done for many vulnerable functions here in NL (child care workers, politicians, health care workers, etc). Perhaps it's time to actually do something about that.

By Bill | 14 December 2010 6:51 AM

I was wondering : Was he all the time alone in these creches, no more workers. No one saw anything out of normal ??? It has to do with the Dutch way to look to other side when something bothers them???

By Carmen Arape | 14 December 2010 6:54 AM

Funny, I've been hearing a lot about women being arrested on abuse charges lately.

Although stereotyping is less taxing on the brain, it is rarely accurate or helpful.

By CW | 14 December 2010 8:34 AM

My kids creche teacher is a guy - the best ever teacher. And only people who have upset her there are girl teachers. Its background check, licensing and constant monitoring of activities that needs to be in place in order to prevent these creeps from what they do!

By Jimbo | 14 December 2010 8:39 AM

Something like that had been going on for quite a while and the co-workers never suspected anything? This is beyond credibility. I can understand a parent might miss to spot the fact, but not someone who is supposed to have been received proper pedagogical training. denial denial denial, where are we going with that?

By Paola | 15 December 2010 6:35 PM

I do not see a problem with male oe female KinderGarden teachers but what is important is, to make sure that stringent checks are in place to ensure people are trust worthy for this position and to make sure this never happens agin...

By Angela | 15 December 2010 7:12 PM

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