Child sex photos of swimming instructor found

17th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Police discover tens of thousands of indecent photographs of young girls at the home of Den Bosch swimming instructor.

Police investigating a swimming instructor from the southern town of Den Bosch suspected of sexually abusing his pupils have discovered tens of thousands of photographs of girls between the ages of six and 16 at his home.

The public prosecutor for Den Bosch, Gerrit van der Burg, announced at a press conference on Tuesday evening that the photographs, showing as many as 98 different girls in and around swimming pools, were found on five computers, eight hard disks, 10 cameras and 16 memory cards. Some of the photos show girls in sexual poses or submitting to indecent acts. As far as the police can determine, none of the victims was actually raped.

59-year-old Benno Larue is the owner of a swimming school which specialises in lessons for the mentally disabled and children with a fear of water. He has been teaching for 18 years at his own school and other swimming baths. It is not known how long he has been abusing children nor whether only mentally disabled girls were involved. The deputy chief of the regional police force, Wilbert Paulissen, says the instructor was investigated briefly five years ago following rumours that he "couldn't keep his hands off" his pupils but nothing incriminating was found.

On Sunday 7 June, the police received "concrete information" which enabled them to begin an investigation. Larue was arrested the following day. Following consultation between Den Bosch Mayor Ton Rombouts and the police, the man's house is now guarded by private security guards. Emotions are running high in Den Bosch and nearby towns, and it was feared there might be attempts to set fire to the house.

Three meetings were held on Tuesday evening to inform hundreds of concerned parents about the progress of the police investigation, which currently involves 100 officers. The case is expected to continue for four to six months. Another meeting, for the parents of former pupils, will be held on Thursday.

The Chid Pornography Online Helpline says the case is unusual in the number of children involved and the fact that the suspect operated alone. A spokesman said "although it's not unusual for child pornography collectors to have as many as 100,000 photographs these days, that's usually the result of exchanging material. This man seems to have taken tens of thousands of photographs by himself."

Radio Netherlands / AFP / Expatica

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