A 53-year-old American has been arrested in the Philippines after he was suspected of producing and distributing child pornography.
David Timothy Deakin, who is from Peoria, Illinois, has been living in the Philippines since 2000. During a raid, officials came across the middle-aged man whose house was allegedly scattered with children’s underwear, cameras, fetish ropes, toddler shoes, bondage cuffs and hard drives possessing children’s images.
Deakin reportedly used webcams to record Filipino children engaging in sexual activities, after which he sold the videos, live streams and pictures on the internet.
Deakin, who has now been charged with cybercrime, child pornography, child abuse and child trafficking, claims he did not make the videos of the children himself.
The incident highlights the Philippines' rampant sexual exploitation problems, where child abuse and sharing of sexual content on the internet has become extremely common.
Officials are currently investigating around 30 hard drives recovered from various such accused sexual predators and child abusers, and they hope to find victims and buyers.
A growing internet trend in the Philippines sees women and men trapped in the cybersex industry, without their consent. Before they even realize, they are locked into rooms and made to perform sex acts to the camera in cybersex dens. In 2015, the Philippine National Police Anti Cybercrime Group found 136 cases of children exploited in cybersex dens, which happens to be the highest number in 3 years.
Just recently, another similar case came to light when a 69-year-old British man was arrested at a café in Phnom Penh, Vietnam. Clive Cressy allegedly paid girls aged 12, 13, 14 and 15 to have sex with him. Police recovered sex toys, lubricants as well as an assortment of children’s clothes and shoes from his apartment and his Vietnamese girlfriend was also taken into custody and charged with soliciting child prostitution.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse in the United States. Moreover, during a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth aged between 14-17 had been sexually victimized while 28% of U.S. youth between the same ages sexually exploited during their lifetime.