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German prosecutors file charges over major child porn site

German prosecutors file charges over major child porn site

BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors said Friday they have filed charges against four men over their alleged involvement with a major international platform for child pornography that was taken down last year.

Investigators say the “BoysTown” platform, which operated on the darknet, had more than 400,000 members. Pedophiles used it to exchange and watch pornography of children and toddlers, most of them boys, from all over the world. It was shut down in April 2021.

The suspects are aged between 41 and 65, Frankfurt prosecutors said in a statement. Their names weren't released, in keeping with German privacy rules. They face charges that include spreading and producing child pornography and sexual abuse of children.

Two of the men are accused of building the platform in 2019. One of them also allegedly sexually abused two children. The other was extradited in October from Paraguay, where he had lived for a few years.

A third suspect is accused of acting as an administrator and moderator for the platform as well as sexually abusing two children. Prosecutors say that the fourth man was “one of the most active users” of the platform. All four are in custody.

The Frankfurt state court now has to decide whether the case will go to trial and if so when. Prosecutors said investigations of other suspected members of the platform are continuing.