Germany: 65 children freed from abusers as part of probe

Berlin (AP) — Authorities in Germany say they have rescued 65 children from their abusers over the past two years as part of an investigating into a large-scale sexual abuse network.

Police in Cologne said at a news conference Wednesday that the victims ranged from three months to 17 years.

Investigators identified the children as part of their probe into a large cache of abuse pictures and videos found 2019 in the western town of Bergisch Gladbach. Authorities said more than 30,000 pseudonyms were used by those in the network, but many of those couldn’t be traced to real people.

So far, investigators have been able to identify 439 suspects and secure numerous convictions, including of the man in whose premises the material was originally found.

The German government toughened laws against child sex abuse and those making or distributing child abuse images as a result of the case.