Police probe Dutch child abuse case

13th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A large-scale investigation is under way after a 27-year-old man who worked in creches in Amsterdam confessed to up to 50 counts of sexual abuse of children, Dutch police said Monday.

The suspect, originally from Latvia, was arrested in the Dutch city on Tuesday after a tip-off from the US authorities. He had worked for Amsterdam creches between February 2007 and January 2010, according to a court statement.

"A large-scale investigation is under way," Ebe van der Land, a spokesman for Amsterdam police, told AFP without giving further details.

The man, who had also worked as a babysitter since 2009, confessed to abusing dozens of children, prosecutors said.

"It is very difficult to say exactly how many children were involved. That's why we are cannot give more precise figures," van der Land said.

He added that police had seized the suspect's computer and were searching for additional clues.

Sunday, local police chief Bernard Welten told a press conference in Amsterdam that 30 to 50 children may have been sexually molested.

"The gravity and the magnitude of the abuses vary depending on the children," he said.

Prosecutors said the man, who was not identified but whose picture was widely distributed to the general public, was also suspected of having produced and distributed child pornography."

The suspect's wife, a 37-year-old local woman, had also been taken into custody on suspicion of possession of child pornography, but was not for the moment suspected of child sexual abuse, a court statement said.

Parents of the children who were in the day nurseries at the time the suspect worked were informed of the development at a special meeting Sunday evening with the police, prosecutors and city council officials.

The suspect contacted parents via the Internet to offer himself as a babysitter.

© 2010 AFP

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