Cebu mother gets 15 year sentence for online sexual abuse of daughter

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A 32-year-old woman who sexually abused three children for profit, including her own daughter, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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The woman pleaded guilty yesterday (Thursday, April 4) to ‘attempted trafficking in persons’ at Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11, which is the region’s designated Cybercrime Court.

As with other recent convictions, the mother was encouraged to plead guilty to the lesser crime of ‘attempted’ trafficking rather than ‘qualified’ trafficking. This was in order to speed up the process and avoid forcing her victims to appear at court.

John Tanago, of the International Justice Mission (IJM) field office in Cebu said: “Engaging in OSEC (Online Sexual Exploitation of Children) is a one-way ticket to jail.

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“Today’s conviction reflects excellent investigation by the Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC) and prosecution by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The evidence in OSEC cases is so strong that the accused are often pleading guilty, even to long sentences of 15 years or longer. 

“This leads to timely justice for survivors and protects child victims from having to testify in court to their abuse. People selling the live-streaming of child sexual abuse think it’s an easy way to make money; but really it’s just a sure way to get arrested and go to jail.”

The IJM is a global charity that works to protect the poor and vulnerable, with a particular focus on slavery and the exploitation of children.

The woman sentenced today — whose name has been withheld to protect her daughter’s identity — was arrested during an entrapment operation at her home in San Fernando in May last year. 

Members of the WCPC caught her offering to sexually abuse her daughter, then 14 years old, and livestream the sexually explicit acts in exchange for money from online predators.

Authorities rescued the girl along with two other young victims. 

The IJM has helped to secure the conviction of 60 people involved in online child exploitation in the Philippines since 2011. It has also assisted in the arrest of 194 alleged perpetrators and the rescue of 466 victims.

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