A 68-year-old Dutch man convicted of sex crimes against multiple children in a Belgian prison has been released after serving just seven years of his 19-year sentence. Peter C. lived and worked in Antwerp at the time of his conviction, but has moved to central Amsterdam since his release, according to a Belgian newspaper. news blood on wednesday.
Mr. C was released from prison at the end of April after just seven years. For the past two months he has been living in an apartment in central Amsterdam. Mr C, a 68-year-old Dutch national, was sentenced by an Antwerp court in January 2016 to 19 years in prison and 15 years in a psychiatric hospital. Mr. C was convicted of child sexual abuse in the Philippines and Cambodia.
A court investigation found that Peter C. and his wife ran an orphanage in Cambodia. The couple frequently held fundraising events to support orphanages in Antwerp and also adopted a child. However, this later turned out to be a cover for pedophilia. Three of the victims were his own adopted daughters. Also found on his computer was his 700 gigabytes of child pornography, a collection he allegedly amassed over the course of his fifteen years.
In the summer of 2012, Peter C. was arrested in Antwerp after being tipped off by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). But just before he was convicted in a Belgian court in January 2016, C managed to escape. After he was issued an international arrest warrant and turned himself in to the police, he was arrested in Cambodia in March of the same year. He was then extradited to Belgium.
On April 28, 2023, Peter C. was granted conditional release by the Ghent Criminal Court. In Belgium, prisoners who show good behavior while in prison are tolerant, which can lead to early release. “In our view, he has been overly punished. He has served more than seven years in prison,” Peter C.’s lawyers Walter Van Steenbruge and Dirk Grootjans said in the Belgian newspaper. said in response to “Many psychiatric reports in prison have proven to be positive.”
Child Focus, an organization involved in the case against Peter C., was stunned to learn he had been released. Representing the group, Heidi De Poe said: “It is absolutely incomprehensible and absolutely shocking that someone who committed such an act was released after only seven years out of a 19-year sentence imposed. It’s a target,” he said in disbelief.
Heidi de Pauw questioned the decision to release, given Peter C.’s previous attempts to escape justice, including hiding in Cambodia until he was forced to surrender. She pointed out that he showed no understanding of his wrongdoing or guilt during his trial. “This is a slap in the face for all victims, all agencies, including the police,” she said.
De Pauw also expressed concern about whether someone with such a severe history of pedophilia could really be cured. “We can only hope that he is a better person in prison. Can someone who has committed such a serious act still be able to function in society? I am already very concerned.” she said.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/07/09/convicted-pedophile-granted-early-release-belgium-now-resides-amsterdam Convicted pedophile released early in Belgium now resides in Amsterdam