Portuguese and Filipino cybersex operators’ terms of life upheld
MANILA – The Court of Appeal upheld the life imprisonment sentence handed down by the Taguig City court against a Portuguese national and a Filipina convicted of directing cybersex in Angeles City in 2008.
In a 16-page decision dated October 15 and drafted by Deputy Judge Ramon Cruz, the eleventh division of the CA upheld the 2019 decision of Section 266 of the Taguig Regional Court of First Instance which convicted Portuguese Jorge Manuel P. Ribiero (aka George Smith) and Rowena Pineda for human trafficking and fined them PHP 3 million each and an additional PHP 600,000 in damages.
A third accused, Maricel Sebastian, is still at large.
The case stems from the complaint of “Maritess”, a resident of Taguig who claimed to have been recruited on June 10, 2008 to work in an internet cafe.
She was then moved to three apartments functioning as cybersex haunts in Barangay Bagong Bayan and Cutcut, Angeles City.
Maritess was forced to perform sexual acts in front of customers online through the livejasmin.com website.
She later escaped when asked to accompany an underage colleague to a bus station in Dau, where she requested police assistance.
The CA said that the accused’s defense that the complainant “was not deprived of her liberty while remaining in the apartment, which turned out to be a cybersex lair, is not relevant ”because under the law trafficking in persons is committed with or without the consent of the victim. or knowledge.
The court said the photos and computer files of convicts of nude women posing in front of a camera or engaging in sexual acts with each other “undoubtedly bolster the prosecution’s case because the defendants indeed maintained a cybersex lair. and sexually exploited several women ”. (ANP)