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Latvian minister: we may need harsher penalties for people making child pornography

Sandis Ģirģens/flickr.com/Valsts kanceleja
«If a person who makes child pornography does not understand what they’ve done, we may need to discuss adopting harsher penalties and changes to the Criminal Law,» said Latvia’s Interior Affairs Minister Sandis Ģirģens.

The report on sex crimes presented by Latvia’s State police in March shows that 25% of such crimes are related to violation of rules on circulation of pornographic materials. 22% of such crimes are associated with sexual violence, and 15% are associated with rape.

Currently Latvia’s Criminal Law states the punishment for such crimes may be deprivation of freedom for up to three years, community service, fine, with or without confiscation of property, as well as with additional measure of probation period of up to three years.

BNN had previously reported that in a massive police operation performed last week, Latvia’s State Police detained ten of the most active child pornography distributors.

Thanks to international cooperation ten searches were performed in homes of ten men in two days. During those searches, police confiscated computers and a large number of data storage devices containing child pornography and prohibited pornographic materials.

Lavčinovskis explained that those ten men were not picked at random – information about them was provided by law enforcement institutions from other countries. In the end, those tan were identified as ten of the most active child pornography distributors in the country.

Representative of Latvia’s State Police says from the outside those ten men were not suspicious – have jobs and families. They live in different locations around Latvia and are aged 20 to 50.

None of them have a prior criminal history involving sex crimes.

«This was their secret life. They considered it acceptable – doing the things they did,» added Lavčinovskis.


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