Ignacio Vargas – Convicted Child Molester Sentenced to 588 years

Ignacio Vargas showed little emotion as Judge Carol Ash added up the maximum sentences for each of the 37 counts against him and then announced the total.

Judge Carol Ash: “88 years plus 500 years to life.”

A jury convicted Vargas last month for repeatedly molesting a young girl who saw him as a father-figure. The sexual abuse started in 2005 when she was just eight years old and continued until 2007 when a sheriff’s deputy caught them together in a car. In court on Thursday, a victim’s advocate read a letter from the girl’s mother.

It said, “He robbed her innocence, her childhood, and the trauma that she will take during her whole life. He destroyed her life, and after she testified, she remains traumatized.”

Deputy District Attorney David Sandhaus says that’s why Vargas deserved the stiffest possible penalty.

David Sandhaus: “By sentencing this defendant to 588 years in prison, it guarantees this specific person will never molest a child again and hopefully other people who might contemplate such an action will think twice before they do it.”

The sentence is the longest anyone has ever received in Merced County. That’s partly because the state passed a law in 2006 that requires a prison term of 25 years to life each time someone rapes a child.

Sandhaus: “The punishment is proportional to what the people of California said they want for raping a victim. The other thing about getting a really high sentence like this, it guarantees he’ll never get out.”

Defense attorney Caleb Hegland says his client is innocent and he plans to appeal the conviction. But for now, Vargas is facing an unprecedented prison term for what the prosecution describes as an unimaginable crime.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Operation Centurian – Child Porn Web Broken

Charged … Alan Lilburne Melchert,
a coach of junior soccer and hockey teams.

DOZENS of men have been arrested for child pornography and abuse offences – including community leaders, a police officer, a teacher and a youth worker – after the nation’s biggest anti-pedophile investigation.

The six-month joint operation by the Australian Federal Police and state police forces uncovered several cases of child molestation and highlighted the astonishing way in which pedophiles form secret communities in cyberspace and use the global reach of the internet to trade child exploitation images.

To date, 70 arrests have been made across Australia. A further 20 people have been issued with summonses to appear in court where they will be charged with possessing child exploitation material. More arrests are expected in coming weeks and months.

Dubbed Operation Centurion, the investigation was triggered after a hacker infiltrated a respectable European website and inserted 99 degrading and explicit images of young girls from eastern Europe, the US and Paraguay.

The site – which cannot be named for legal reasons – was besieged by an incredible 12 million hits in just 76 hours after word got around online pedophile networks that the images were available and the website’s address was circulated.

Almost 150,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website, including Australians using 2883 computer IP addresses. Of those, 1513 had downloaded one or more images in the 76-hour period.

Police were able to match IP addresses to locations. Some were public computers in places such as libraries, some were duplicates, but many could be traced to homes.

Those arrested have ranged in age from 19 to 81 and included individuals with a known history of child abuse, and others with unblemished backgrounds.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Operation Centurian – Child Porn Web Broken

Charged … Alan Lilburne Melchert,
a coach of junior soccer and hockey teams.

DOZENS of men have been arrested for child pornography and abuse offences – including community leaders, a police officer, a teacher and a youth worker – after the nation’s biggest anti-pedophile investigation.

The six-month joint operation by the Australian Federal Police and state police forces uncovered several cases of child molestation and highlighted the astonishing way in which pedophiles form secret communities in cyberspace and use the global reach of the internet to trade child exploitation images.

To date, 70 arrests have been made across Australia. A further 20 people have been issued with summonses to appear in court where they will be charged with possessing child exploitation material. More arrests are expected in coming weeks and months.

Dubbed Operation Centurion, the investigation was triggered after a hacker infiltrated a respectable European website and inserted 99 degrading and explicit images of young girls from eastern Europe, the US and Paraguay.

The site – which cannot be named for legal reasons – was besieged by an incredible 12 million hits in just 76 hours after word got around online pedophile networks that the images were available and the website’s address was circulated.

Almost 150,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website, including Australians using 2883 computer IP addresses. Of those, 1513 had downloaded one or more images in the 76-hour period.

Police were able to match IP addresses to locations. Some were public computers in places such as libraries, some were duplicates, but many could be traced to homes.

Those arrested have ranged in age from 19 to 81 and included individuals with a known history of child abuse, and others with unblemished backgrounds.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Operation Centurian – Child Porn Web Broken

Charged … Alan Lilburne Melchert,
a coach of junior soccer and hockey teams.

DOZENS of men have been arrested for child pornography and abuse offences – including community leaders, a police officer, a teacher and a youth worker – after the nation’s biggest anti-pedophile investigation.

The six-month joint operation by the Australian Federal Police and state police forces uncovered several cases of child molestation and highlighted the astonishing way in which pedophiles form secret communities in cyberspace and use the global reach of the internet to trade child exploitation images.

To date, 70 arrests have been made across Australia. A further 20 people have been issued with summonses to appear in court where they will be charged with possessing child exploitation material. More arrests are expected in coming weeks and months.

Dubbed Operation Centurion, the investigation was triggered after a hacker infiltrated a respectable European website and inserted 99 degrading and explicit images of young girls from eastern Europe, the US and Paraguay.

The site – which cannot be named for legal reasons – was besieged by an incredible 12 million hits in just 76 hours after word got around online pedophile networks that the images were available and the website’s address was circulated.

Almost 150,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website, including Australians using 2883 computer IP addresses. Of those, 1513 had downloaded one or more images in the 76-hour period.

Police were able to match IP addresses to locations. Some were public computers in places such as libraries, some were duplicates, but many could be traced to homes.

Those arrested have ranged in age from 19 to 81 and included individuals with a known history of child abuse, and others with unblemished backgrounds.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 4:16 am  Comments (1)  

Operation Centurian – Global Child Porn Crackdown


Seventy people in Australia have been arrested in a global crackdown on Internet child pornography and more will be detained, police said Thursday.

The Interpol-led probe involving 170 countries was launched after a hacker posted 99 child porn images on a European website which attracted 12 million hits in just 76 hours.

More than 2,800 computer Internet protocol (IP) addresses were traced back to Australia and federal police identified all of them in a six-month operation, Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said.

“You will see more arrests, the investigations are continuing,” Keelty told reporters.

Keelty said the first arrests were made in cases where children might be in danger and four children had been taken from their homes.

Several teachers, a federal police officer and a sports administrator were reportedly among those arrested.

“It’s really one of the largest single operations we’ve done on child pornography with our international partners and our state police partners here in Australia,” Keelty said.

“You’re talking about 12 million hits from around the world but in a small time period of three days.

“In Australia the operation has netted over a million images of children, and these are not children in passive positions, these children who are being abused.”

The children range in age from babies to 18 years old, he said.

“They come from various countries, the real tragedy of this is that we don’t know the origins of a lot of these children.

“We don’t know whether these children are still being the victims of child abuse.”

The flood of hits on the website came after word got around online paedophile networks that the images were available and the website’s address was circulated, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Almost 15,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website in just 76 hours, the paper said.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 4:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Operation Centurian – Global Child Porn Crackdown


Seventy people in Australia have been arrested in a global crackdown on Internet child pornography and more will be detained, police said Thursday.

The Interpol-led probe involving 170 countries was launched after a hacker posted 99 child porn images on a European website which attracted 12 million hits in just 76 hours.

More than 2,800 computer Internet protocol (IP) addresses were traced back to Australia and federal police identified all of them in a six-month operation, Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said.

“You will see more arrests, the investigations are continuing,” Keelty told reporters.

Keelty said the first arrests were made in cases where children might be in danger and four children had been taken from their homes.

Several teachers, a federal police officer and a sports administrator were reportedly among those arrested.

“It’s really one of the largest single operations we’ve done on child pornography with our international partners and our state police partners here in Australia,” Keelty said.

“You’re talking about 12 million hits from around the world but in a small time period of three days.

“In Australia the operation has netted over a million images of children, and these are not children in passive positions, these children who are being abused.”

The children range in age from babies to 18 years old, he said.

“They come from various countries, the real tragedy of this is that we don’t know the origins of a lot of these children.

“We don’t know whether these children are still being the victims of child abuse.”

The flood of hits on the website came after word got around online paedophile networks that the images were available and the website’s address was circulated, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Almost 15,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website in just 76 hours, the paper said.

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 4:09 am  Leave a Comment