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Four-member gang convicted of child pornography

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Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia, March 3 (CTK) – The Regional Court in Hradec Kralove on Thursday convicted four people of the production of child pornography and its distribution online on foreign websites.

The mastermind, Pavel Rohel, was sent to a specially guarded prison for seven years. His accomplice Jaroslav Hampl was sentenced to two years behind bars and Yuliya Chorba, mother of the two abused kids, was given a three-year prison sentence.

Miroslav Merta, who graphically adjusted the porn photographs, was given a two-year suspended sentence with a three-year probation.

According to the indictment, the gang has gained over five million crowns from the child porn production and abused some 100 children.

Rohel and Hampl were convicted of similar criminal activities in the past.

The main organiser contacted children from socially deprived and low-income families promising them work in advertising or being photographed for foreign magazines. He invited them to a studio in Cerveny Kostelec, east Bohemia, where he, along with the other defendants, was photographing or shooting them on video.

The pictures were posted on paid foreign websites without the knowledge of the children and their parents.

The police started investigating the case code-named “Studio” in April 2013. The four suspects were detained in March 2014. They were brought to court last July.

Rohel denied part of the charges before the court, saying the photographs of dressed children were no child pornography. He only admitted that he had violated law by taking pictures and shooting video-recordings for his private clients from Sweden and Spain.

However, a court expert has concluded that most of the seized photographs can be classified as child pornographic works.

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