The accused in the trial of the »Boystown« dark web platform
Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa
The Frankfurt district court imposed high prison sentences on Tuesday against the operators of the Darknet platform »Boystown«.
The four defendants are accused of the production and gang distribution of so-called child and youth pornographic content and the sometimes serious sexual abuse of children.
One of the men has to go to prison for twelve years, and the judges also imposed preventive detention on the 49-year-old from Bavaria.
A 42-year-old from Paderborn has to go to prison for ten and a half years, and preventive detention was also imposed here.
A 60-year-old arrested in Paraguay has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
The judges imposed a sentence of seven years on a 66-year-old from Hamburg.
(Read more about how the defendants organized the operation of the platform here.)
Around 400,000 users had registered on »Boystown«.
This made the site one of the biggest abuse platforms on the dark web, a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special anonymization software.
Tips from foreign authorities brought the BKA further
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.
Shortly after the platform was founded, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) smuggled an undercover investigator into Boystown, but was initially unable to identify any of the operators.
(Read more about how undercover cops investigate pedophiles here).
This was only possible thanks to a tip from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Dutch police.
In mid-March 2021, the BKA and the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office took Boystown offline after around a year and a half.