A Swiss man is facing trial charged with sexually abusing more than 80 boys – some as young as nine – in Thailand, Swiss authorities have announced.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons — is accused of taking thousands of indecent photographs of the boys, molesting some and pushing others into prostitution, prosecutors in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg have said.
The abuse is alleged to have taken place since 2001.
The man will go before the court on charges of human trafficking, encouraging prostitution, sexual acts with children and making indecent pictures of children.
When confronted by investigators, the man admitted to taking the thousands of sexually explicit pictures of boys found in his computers, but denied the other charges.
Most of the victims were young adolescents, but some were as young as nine. Prosecutors also say that a number of the boys had been abused over the course of several years.
The suspected abuse happened in Pattaya in southern Thailand, where the suspect ran a go-go bar, and also in the Nonghoi district of Chiang Mai, where he lived.
The man had previously been convicted of sexually abusing children in Switzerland in Fribourg in 1980 and in the Canton of Valais in 1991.
He had moved to Thailand that same year and returned to Switzerland in 2014.
Discovering that he was under investigation in Thailand, authorities in Fribourg opened their own probe in early 2015 and detained the man who had been planning to return to Southeast Asia.
Investigators also discovered evidence that casts suspicion on a German man, which has been passed to prosecutors in Cologne, Germany.