Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

More than 1000 Danish teenagers charged with spreading Facebook sex videos

More than 1000 Danish teenagers charged with spreading Facebook sex videos

Danish police have charged 1,004 young people with distributing sexually explicit material of two 15-year-olds following a tip-off from Facebook Inc.

The police claim this case could constitute distribution of child pornography despite the fact that the age of consent in Denmark is 15 and both teenagers featured in the video in question apparently were 15 at the time of its recording.

According to Danish news agency Ritzau, two videos and an image containing sexual materials involving a primary school girl and several boys were being shared among young people back in 2015 on Messenger of Facebook. Some 800 are male (Bloomberg).

United States authorities then informed Danish police through Interpol, who facilitate global police co-operation.

"We have taken the case very seriously as it has major implications for those involved when such material is spread".

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Prosecutors will assess each case, Thygesen said, with punishments ranging from a criminal record entry to having their name added to child protection registers for 10 years.

The case, which reached Denmark via the European Union's law enforcement agency Europol, involves around 800 boys and 200 girls, a lot of them between the ages of 15 and 20. "But they may not also understand that it is punishable and that they may be sentenced for distributing child pornography". But some shared them more widely, according to authorities.

Offenders older than 18 were called to their local police stations and formally charged, while investigators contacted the parents of juvenile offenders and ordered them to bring their children to the police station. Superintendent Flemming Kjaerside is from the Danish National Police's Cyber Crime Centre.

The majority of the young people involved shared the videos a couple of times but some of those charged passed the videos around on hundreds of occasions. "Many of the young people have already been summoned last week, so some of them have been made aware of it over the weekend and the young people will meet with the police today and in the coming weeks".

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