A Dutchman has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing four underage girls at a rented apartment in Talisay City.
Stephen De Groot was arrested at about 3am yesterday (Wednesday, October 25) in the company of girls aged 13 to 16. The teenagers had been reported missing by their parents earlier that night.
Chief Inspector Ardy Cabagnot, deputy chief of Talisay Police Station, said they seized the suspect’s smartphone that contained nude photos of the victims.
The girls told officers that more videos and photographs of them and other minors had been taken by the suspect using an iPad. This has not yet been located.
The girls also said that as well as photographing them, the 52-year-old also had sex with them in exchange for money and gifts, including a cellphone. The abuse had been continuing for about one month, they added.
Cabagnot said that they went to the suspect’s house at Santa Monica Estates following complaints from neighbours about young girls coming and going from the apartment.
Ion the night in question, the mother of one of the girls had gone to the police station in search of her daughter whom she thought had been caught violating curfew.
“The mother was actually looking for her child here in the police station when the rescue happened at De Groot’s apartment,” Cabagnot said.
“It was a blessing in disguise that when we caught him, we found the children as well,” he added.
“The foreigner victimises young girls. A girl of 16 is already too old for him.”
The Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) has filed charges for violating Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 against De Groot.
Because the victims were minors, the case falls under ‘qualified trafficking’ — which a non-bailable offence.
The Dutchman, who declined to issue any statement, is detained at Talisay City Police Station.
The four girls have been turned over to the custody of social workers for assessment.
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