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Europol's Most Wanted Former Criminal Sentenced to 20 Years

Europol’s former most wanted criminal gets 20 years for producing child sexual abuse materials

Today a 33-year-old Filipino male was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty today to producing “child pornography” under Republic Act No. 9775. He was originally charged with section 4[c][2] of RA 10175, which is punishable by 40 years imprisonment. Under his plea agreement today, however, he pleaded guilty to another offense under section 4[b] of RA 9775. Nelson Turayno, who hails from Iligan City, is still facing other charges of qualified trafficking, acts of lasciviousness and rape.

Turayno entered his guilty plea to producing child sexual abuse materials (“CSAM”) before Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr. of Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11 at 2:30 p.m. today.

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) had named Turayno most wanted criminal for recording himself raping Filipino children ages 3 to 6 years old and sharing those sexual abuse videos on the dark-web for online child sex offenders to view. He was arrested in Cebu City on April 12, 2019 in a joint operation by the National Bureau of Investigation - Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) and the Philippine National Police - Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC).

“Turayno preyed on vulnerable children, sexually abusing young Filipino boys for his own deviant desires. He then recorded himself raping these young children in videos that he shared with other offending paedophiles around the world—men who selfishly consume videos of suffering children only to satisfy their perverse lusts. They care nothing for the trauma and violence they inflict on the most precious members of our society,” declared Atty. John Tanagho, International Justice Mission Cebu Field Office Director. "Today’s conviction in Cebu City will resound globally as a shout of justice from the Philippines for all children ravaged by online child sexual abuse—the world is on your side and we will bring this violence against you to an end until all children are safe and free.”

"We are committed to protecting our children from the violence of this kind of exploitation," said Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane, chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking 7 (Central Visayas). "I applaud all of our partners who continue to work together to let the world know that we are serious in this fight to end the online sexual exploitation of children. This case is just one example of how we will continue to pursue justice."

Aside from serving a 20-year sentence, Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr. also ordered Turayno to pay P2 million in fines.

The joint PNP and NBI investigation was a consequence of an Australian Federal Police and Queensland Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) referral in August 2018.

Armed with evidence acquired during investigations, a search warrant was secured on April 11, 2019 from Judge Ramon B. Daomilas Jr. of Regional Trial Court Branch 11 Cebu City, the designated Cybercrime Court in Region 7. The following day, joint forces from NBI-AHTRAD and the PNP-WCPC arrested Turayno for possession of child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM) with intent to sell, distribute, publish or broadcast, with the use of information communications technology.

He was arrested at his rented room in Barangay Luz, Cebu City where thousands of CSAM, including videos depicting Turayno sexually abusing children, were found in his possession.

NBI-AHTRAD Chief, Atty. Janet Francisco, echoed these sentiments.

“It is critical that we all work together as partners with the common goal to end the online sexual exploitation of children. This case is an example of the excellent international, national, and local collaboration that will make this possible. To those still abusing children, take this as a lesson that we will not stop until justice is served."

Partner agencies from the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) – namely, the Australian Federal Police, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency, and nongovernment organization International Justice Mission (IJM) – supported the operation earlier this year.

The PICACC is a collective effort to combat child exploitation across the Philippines by law enforcement – the PNP, the NBI, the Australian Federal Police, and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency; in partnership with non-government organization, IJM. This collaborative international effort protects children through an enhanced global response to combatting the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).

So far in IJM-supported cases, 74 persons have been convicted in the Philippines for perpetrating Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) since 2011. IJM has supported Philippine law enforcement agencies in the arrest of 238 OSEC perpetrators and the rescue of 566 victims and children at-risk across the country.

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