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All convicts in Portugal child sex case jailed

The last three convicted members of a Portuguese paedophile ring on Thursday began serving their jail terms in a horrific child sex case that rocked Portugal, local media reported.

In total, five men — including a star television presenter and an ambassador — are now behind bars for what is known as the Casa Pia scandal, named after the state-run youth home where the ring sexually abused dozens of boys and procured minors to be raped at orgies.

Former doctor Ferreira Diniz was on Thursday arrested by police in order to start serving his seven-year prison term, while the other two, former ambassador Jorge Ritto and an ex-administrator of the home, Manuel Abrantes, had voluntarily handed themselves over to Lisbon’s Carregueira prison earlier in the day, the Lusa news agency said.

Ritto has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison, and Abrantes to six years and eight months.

Former television presenter Carlos Cruz began serving his six-year sentence on Tuesday, while Carlos Silvino, a former Casa Pia driver and gardener, began serving his 15-year sentence in January.

The men were convicted in September 2010 but their sentences were suspended as their cases went through a lengthy appeals process.

The Casa Pia scandal broke in November 2002 when an inmate of the home for youngsters in difficult circumstances told the press of having been raped by Silvino.

Former residents of the Lisbon home later came forward to tell of rapes and “special evenings”.

The trial began in 2004 and became Portugal’s longest-running.