Cork man jailed for filming underage girls with hidden cameras in home

Cork man jailed for filming underage girls with hidden cameras in home

A CORK MAN who fitted his house with hidden cameras to film teenage students from overseas undressing in his family home has been jailed for three years.

The 30-year-old perpetrator, who also filmed two children using a bathroom in a shopping centre, cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims.

The crimes spanned from 2011 to 2016 and involved a total of 13 children, RTÉ reports.

Det Sgt Simon Grace informed Cork Circuit Court that gardaí were contacted by the FBI in 2016 after the child pornographic videos – filmed by the defendant – appeared online.

The man was arrested by gardaí on July 4th, 2016, and later admitted to producing videos of students from overseas who were staying in his home while taking courses in Ireland.

The girls were mostly aged between 13 and 16.

He also admitted to downloading explicit child abuse images from the internet.

The man pleaded guilty to 13 counts of production and distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child abuse images.

Det Sgt Grace said the man uploaded some of the illicit content to the internet.

Six victim impact statements were submitted to the court and one girl appeared on a livestream from France, RTÉ reports.

She told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin she was deeply shocked when French police alerted her to the fact that she had been filmed while on a state led education placement.

The man, who had no previous convictions, was fired from his job after an anonymous call tipped off his employer about the offences.

Representing the defendant, Elizabeth O'Connell, SC, stressed that her client was wholly cooperative with gardaí, had shown remorse for his actions, and had not reoffended since his arrest

However, Judge Ó Donnabháin said the probation report indicated a high risk of reoffending.

It was especially shocking, the judge said, that the videos were not only filmed but distributed on the dark web.

The man's possession of explicit images of child abuse was another aggravating factor in the case.

The judge acknowledged that by pleading guilty the man had spared the State a drawn out and complex investigation and trial process.

By filming them in a state of undress, the man had violated the trust of the young girls involved, the Judge said.

He passed a six-year jail sentence, suspending three years.