Over 100 pornographic images of kids were found, yet the perpetrator did not go to prison
One of the convicts has recorded pornographic materials of a juvenile and sent it to the other convict, who wanted to engage in a sexual act with 6 children who have been under 14. Both were sentenced in the District Court of Székesfehérvár, although the verdict is not imprisonment. Here is why.
At first, it might be hard to understand how these people could get away without imprisonment. One of them took 100 photos of a child, while the other wanted to engage with six well-underaged children out of 150 whom he tried to approach. To people’s dismay, on the 8th of October, the verdict of the court of Székesfehérvár did not deem these crimes worthy of immediate imprisonment. This is what they got instead:
About the first accused: Starting in 2009 he engaged in sexual offences (details are unknown) with an underaged boy every week, for one and a half years. During this period, he recorded over a hundred pornographic images and videos. The man sent these and other pornographic contents of another child to the second accused. For all of this, he got 1 year and 10 months of prison sentence, but his final verdict is 5 years of probation, meaning a suspended sentence.
About the second accused: He tried to approach around 150 children on a social media site. Among these children, he tried to entice 6 juveniles who were under 14 years old into sexual activities. For this, he got 2 years of prison sentence and a fine of about 312 € (100,000 Ft). Likewise, his sentence was also suspended, and he got 5 years of probation.
The verdict became non-appealable at the time of its proclamation – as stated in the announcement of the Székesfehérvár Regional Court
Why did the judge be so moderate about the verdict?
Children pornography and types of sexual exploits connected to juveniles are not only harshly judged by the public, but also by the Hungarian Criminal Code. By default, the person who records pornographic material of children can face 1-5 years of prison sentence. Someone, who is over 18 years old and tries to influence a juvenile under 14 into sexual activities can face up to 3 years imprisonment.
Comparingly, at first sight, the verdict seems too moderate. For the questions of Index’s journalists, the court replied, that the key point in making the final verdict is that
Both accused have declared themselves guilty and they both resigned their right of trial.
This is a new opportunity, which the new criminal procedure law that entered into force this summer, allows. The most important thing regarding is that, if the accused plead themselves guilty and resign their right of trial, they may get a more moderate verdict. This is important because in some cases this also speeds up the procedure, the case can be closed sooner, and the victims of the crime need not be put through the often painful procedure of the trial.
After the perpetrators plead themselves guilty, the public prosecutor requested suspended sentence from the judge. Although the judge is not bound to the request of the public prosecutor, he needs to take into account both the mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
The judge found several mitigating circumstances:
- the lapse of time – because the photos were taken in 2009
- no criminal records – although the high age of the accused, he previously did not commit any crime
Although the secondary accused tried to approach 150 children, – and while this is shocking – this in itself is not a crime. In his case, the court found him guilty of sexual exploits in six cases. This can be punished by 3 years of custodial sentence.
Taking these into account, the judge decided that the sentence against the accused need not be more than 2 years of imprisonment. This verdict was suspended, and the perpetrators were placed on probation, because
„they had no previous criminal record and they showed regret of their crimes, so in their cases it is likely that the purpose of the punishment can be achieved without its complete execution.”
The time of the suspended sentence or probation is the maximum, which is 5 years, and they will be monitored by a probation officer, to make sure they do not commit crime during this period.