A warning before you read on: As far as child abuse cases go, the Guardian calls this one "the worst of its kind in German criminal history." A 48-year-old woman and her 39-year-old partner (himself a convicted pedophile) have been convicted of selling the woman's now-10-year-old son on the darknet to pedophiles and raping and abusing him themselves, per the Local. Those pedophiles paid as much as $11,500 each time they abused him, and prosecutors identified more than 50 overall acts of rape, abuse, humiliation, and bondage. Six men who paid to abuse the boy will serve between eight and 10 years; the mother, Berrin T., will serve 12.5; her partner, Christian L., will serve 12. They saw their sentences trimmed because they helped lead authorities to the other abusers.
Police say the abuse lasted for two years and ended after an anonymous tip. The boy is in foster care and, per his lawyer, doing OK considering what he has been through. The case has been a flashpoint in the country, with Deutsche Welle detailing the failings that prevented the boy from being rescued earlier. Among them: In March 2017 the boy was removed from the home after it was found he was living with Christian, who as a convicted pedophile could not have contact with children; the courts didn't speak with the boy but rather sided with his mother and returned him. As for Berrin, the judge described her as initially participating in the scheme in order to maintain her relationship with Christian but says she then became motivated by money; videos of the abuse were also sold on the darknet. As for that footage, investigators have said it brought them "to their limits." (Read more child abuse stories.)