Amsterdam daycare abuser jailed for 18 years, plus psychiatric prison

Robert Mikelsons, the main suspect in the Amsterdam daycare abuse case, was on Monday sentenced to 18 years in jail plus psychiatric prison for an undetermined time.


Latvian national Mikelsons, nicknamed the Monster of Riga by the Telegraaf, faced charges of molesting 67 children but admitted to abusing 87 while working as a creche leader and babysitter.
Announcing their verdicts, the judges said Mikelsons’ crimes were shocking and that the ‘shock would not diminish’.
The court accepted the opinion of psychiatrists that Mikelsons is not fully responsible for his actions. Nevertheless, the way he went about his crimes shows ‘clarity of thought and clarity of decision-making,’ the judges said.
As the judges stated that Mikelson’s apologies for his crimes would not lead to a lower sentence, the 28-year-old threw water at the judge’s bench. ‘What rubbish’, he shouted.
Mikelsons’ partner Richard van Olffen was found not guilty of participating in the crimes but was jailed for six years for complicity. The judges said that Van Olffen himself was an abused child and should know how damaging that can be.
US investigation
The investigation was triggered by the arrest of a paedophile from near Boston in the US in 2010. According to the Telegraaf, among the thousands of photographs found in his possession was one featuring a very young child and a toy rabbit known as Miffy (Nijntje) which led detectives to think the child could be Dutch.
The photo was shown on a Dutch tv crime show in December 2010 and recognised. Mikelsons was arrested later that evening.
Babysitter
As the case unfolded, the extent of the abuse became clear. Mikelsons worked at two city childcare centres between February 2007 and January 2010 and advertised his services as a babysitter.
Mikelsons subsequently admitted abusing 87 children, some as young as a few months old. During the trial, most of which was held behind closed doors, the Latvian national told the court: ‘I am sorry I was too cowardly to prevent this happening. It was never my intention to hurt people.’ Thousands of images of children were found on computers at his home in Amsterdam.
The lawyers for both men said they plan to appeal against the convictions.

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