THE serial child sexual abuser Douglas Slade, from Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, was sentenced to 24 years in jail after he was extradited back to the UK and faced sexual abuse charges.
He was charged in court in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines, several times for abuse of children in his luxurious child-sex den, but was able to bribe his way out of all the charges allegedly with the help of corrupt police, court officials and bent lawyers. Slade admitted in an interview with a UK television channel that he had paid lawyers to “fix” the cases.
Preda Foundation social workers and paralegal officers assisted the victims and, with power of attorney, are legal guardians for some of them. Slade had abused as many as 33 children living within half a kilometer to his house, which he had built next to an elementary school and had a gate leading to the playground. He allegedly gave gifts to the school principal, to allow the boys to come to his house where he abused them.
The Preda Foundation is working to file civil action cases in the UK against Slade, to demand compensation for the degrading and human suffering and psychological damage that the children endure.
One boy narrated, as reported by Simon Perry in his article in the Mail Online, that Slade threatened him and other victims with a gun if they or their parents told the police about the sexual abuse. Slade kept a firearm in his house. According to the report, Slade had video cameras fitted to the wall in both the living room and the bedroom. He would film his abuse and told Christian and the other boys he was selling the footage to friends over the internet. “Mr. Douglas told us to do things to him and he told us we had to do it right as he told us to because it was all going on video,” he said.
When Slade’s computer broke down, he called in a technician to repair it. This technician saw the pictures of sexual abuse, knew it was indicative of a crime and reported it to police. He made copies so the police would have evidence to get a search warrant. The police raided the home with a search warrant and got the original material in a legal manner. However, in the Angeles City Court, Slade’s lawyers were able to say that the original procurement of the video was illegal, and despite the evidence that the police got the same evidence legally, the case was dismissed even with the powerful sets of evidence of child rape.
It was at this stage that the Preda director, in conversation with visiting UK child protection officials, brought the case of Slade to their attention. Soon, historic cases in the UK were revived with their help and the help of media, and Slade was extradited.
The role of the internet in distributing the images of child sexual abuse is vast. The internet is an electronic digital communications tool that can be used for good or bad. The pedophiles and child abusers have got a powerful tool at their disposal to make and distribute the most horrific videos and images of child sexual assault.
That’s why making and distributing child porn is so dangerous and evil. Even children can have access to this dehumanizing and personality destructive material by accident. It can be sent to them by pedophiles grooming them to accept this as a “normal” form of human interaction. Sometimes it works, and the child is seduced. Other children are psychologically affected in a negative way. When they view these images they have a negative view of adults as dangerous, threatening and abusive. It can destroy their trust in adults and their own parents and they become disturbed and rebellious. The world appears to them to be out to hurt and exploit them.
Parents must learn the dangers of unlimited access by children to the internet and must protect their children against this digital poison in cyberspace as they would protect them against a bottle of weed killer in the garden shed.
In most countries, it is a crime to access, download, view or possess child pornography. In the Philippines, the 2009 anti-child pornography law is strict and revolutionary in that it orders the internet server providers (ISPs) to filter and block child pornography passing to customers through their servers. Preda Foundation lobbied, advised and helped bring that provision into the law.
However, Philippine government officials under past administrations have never insisted that the ISPs, mostly foreign-owned, follow and implement the law. They fear they will lose top-paying customers and millions in profits.
Poverty is not the prime cause of child sexual abuse. It is the criminal behavior coming mostly from depraved and evil men who desire sex with children. Children, especially hungry children, are vulnerable to being lured and abused. Child sexual abuse and pornography thrive in a culture of cover-up and non-reporting of abuses done on children.
This is what must change. We can prevent abuse and protect children by speaking the truth.