Police have found indecent photographs of 98 girls aged six to 16 on computers owned by swimming teacher Benno L, arrested earlier this week on child abuse charges.
Tens of thousands of photographs of a sexual nature were found on five computers, eight hard drives, 10 cameras and 16 memory chips at his home in Den Bosch, the Telegraaf reports.
The photos were made in and around the swimming pool where L gave swimming lessons, mainly to mentally-handicapped children. He ran his own swimming school and specialised in teaching children with learning difficulties or who were afraid of water to swim.
L was arrested on Monday afternoon following a week-long investigation. Police said he is the only suspect and there is no evidence the photos were traded. Two girls have so far been identified.
The Telegraaf reports that L was the subject of an investigation five years ago after reports that he was assaulting girls first surfaced. That investigation was closed without result, police chief Wilbert Paulissen said.
Hundreds of worried parents in Den Bosch, Vught and Drunen attended information evenings about the case on Tuesday night.
Parents were told behind closed doors that L had focused his attention on girls and that there is no evidence any children had been raped.
The parents of children who no longer have lessons from L will be brought up to date later this week.
Jan Wassenaar of the local health authority said it was still unclear when L began abusing children. ‘This is the sad thing about this story. May people are being unnecessarily worried,’ he told Nos tv.
Hundreds of parents will never know if their children were victims, police chief Wilbert Paulissen said.
It has not yet been decided if the victims would need to give evidence. Inteviewing children with a mental health handicap is a ‘mega job’ requiring a great deal of expertise, he said.
Police expect the case will take a further four to six months to fully investigate.
A spokesman for child pornography register said the Den Bosch case was special because L did not appear to have built up his collection by swapping photos with other abusers. Collectors often have hundreds of thousands of indecent photos of children, he told the Volkskrant.
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