“Boystown”: Four men are on trial for abuse side

How drastic the allegations are was shown right at the beginning of the trial, when the court decided to exclude the public for parts of the reading of the indictment. This should also protect the sexually abused boys who are represented in the process by joint plaintiffs. It took the Attorney General’s Office more than five hours on Wednesday to complete the more than 400 to recite pages of indictment.

On “Boystown” had around 400.000 Registered users. This made the internationally oriented site one of the largest abuse platforms on the dark web, a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special anonymization software. The platform had chat areas in different languages ​​and was divided into forums such as “Hardcore”, “Kindergarten”, a separate area for child abuse reports and one for image requests. Mostly videos and pictures of sexualized violence against boys were exchanged and disseminated.

Hidden server in a church institution

The four defendants who have to answer in court in Frankfurt are said to be the site operated and partly acted as administrators or administrators. On the Darknet they gave themselves names like »Phantom« or »Don Dildo«.

One of them is the IT technician Alexander G., for example, is said to be running a server in the rooms of a church institution hidden and also used the high-performance Internet line there, as reported by »Zeit« . That server is said to have been used by the hard core of the German pedophile scene networked on »Boystown«.

G. is also said to have checked every two to three days whether the servers registered in the Republic of Moldova, on which the platform was operated as a whole, were working smoothly. In the spring 2020 he should be worth Bitcoin at that time of 329 euros more storage space have ordered in order to be able to continue hosting the increasing amount of data. The Catholic institution, for which G. maintained the IT as an external employee, explained that they only found out about the case through the investigation and that they are supporting the authorities.

Sitting next to G in Frankfurt Christian K. in the dock. He is said to have taken care of the operation of the site from a small hut in the jungle of Paraguay. It was delivered in October 2000. Videos from the Paraguayan authorities show the access in a littered and simple shelter.

More on the subject

  • Das Grauen, das niemand sehen will

    In addition, Andreas G. and Fritz K. still have to answer in court in the proceedings. All of the accused are in custody. Two of them are also accused of having abused children themselves.

    Great investigative success for German authorities

    In mid-March 2020 the Federal Criminal Police Office succeeded and the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office to take “Boystown” off the internet after about a year and a half. The action immediately caused considerable unrest in the online pedo-criminal scene, although the investigative authorities did not publicly announce their great success until the beginning of May.

    Shortly after the platform was founded, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) apparently smuggled an undercover investigator into »Boystown«. Nevertheless, the prosecutors could probably not identify any of the operators of the site, who only communicated with a pseudonym, for a long time. (Read more about how undercover investigators investigate pedophiles here.) It was only thanks to a tip from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Dutch police that the Germans were able to intercept an administrator’s data for weeks. As reported by “Zeit”, it was finally possible to identify one of the accused.

    Abuse recordings are quickly back online despite being shut down

    »Boystown« is one of the largest abuse platforms on the Darknet to date and is probably the largest site controlled from Germany. Nevertheless, there were already larger pages on the Darknet, such as a joint research by SPIEGEL and NDR in December 2020 showed. At the time »Boystown« was shut down, there was a darknet platform with more than three million registered members. Only five days after the attack on »Boystown«, many of the abuse images distributed there could be accessed again via this page. An anonymous user uploaded a copy of parts of the deactivated page again.

    The research by SPIEGEL and NDR showed that the BKA did not delete the images for a long time, although this was technically done with simple resources would have been possible. A few e-mails were enough to get the services that stored the recordings distributed on the Darknet to be deleted.

    As the »Zeit« now reported, they are investigators meanwhile in more than 400.000 approached providers and asked for the recordings distributed on »Boystown« to be deleted. So it is to be hoped that with the end of “Boystown” as many abuse recordings as possible will actually disappear from the Internet. Because the fact that they can continue to circulate on the Internet all too often means further suffering for the victims after the abuse.

    Lawyer Walter Schäfers, who represents one of the sexually abused boys as a joint plaintiff, says , his client is still doing badly today. He will therefore not take part in the hearing himself, as far as possible, because that would stir him up again. “He’s still suffering today,” says the lawyer.

    2021 With material from dpa

    2021 Editor’s note: The indictment was read for five hours, not just one hour. We have updated the relevant passage.

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