German couple convicted of selling child on the darknet

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A German couple was tossed behind bars for 12 years Tuesday for selling custom-made online videos of them sexually abusing their son.

Eight people were arrested back in January after German police uncovered a paedophile ring in which the mother had been selling her 8-year-old boy for sex in and around the area of Freiburg.

Case psychiatrist, Hartmut Pleines, quoted by Spiegel news, said the mother's claim that she was in thrall to her partner when she committed the abuse, was false.

On Monday, the court also jailed a Spanish man to 10 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing the boy.

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Lais, 39, had a previous conviction for child abuse, raising questions why he was allowed to live in a home with a child present.

Following a criminal probe that even seasoned investigators said pushed them to the emotional limit, the regional court in Freiburg sentenced the boy's mother, Berrin Taha, to 12 and a half years in prison.

The couple must now pay €42,500 (£38,000; $49,200) in damages to the boy and to a three-year-old girl, who was also abused by them.

Several men, believed to be pedophile "clients" of the couple, have also been prosecuted in connection with the case.

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The judges found that the unemployed couple had sexually assaulted the boy, now 10, numerous times and pimped him on the so-called darknet between May 2015 and August 2017.

The pair, identified as Berrin T, 48, and her partner Christian L, 39, and six others were arrested last autumn.

Officials took the boy away from his mother in March past year following vague indications from police that he might be at risk, but a local court sent him back weeks later on condition that she not allow any contact between the child and her partner.

He also made serious accusations against the child's mother, who confessed to the crimes but remained largely silent about any possible motive during the trial.

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