Police broke up a pedophile ring suspected of abusing children as young as 11 months and distributing images of the abuse on the Internet, officials said Thursday.
Five men, two of them computer specialists, were arrested for abducting, raping and abusing children and filming indecent acts, a police official said on condition of anonymity. All five men lived in Spain, he said.
One of the suspects had worked as a baby sitter to get close to children, the official said.
The abuse seen in the video and photos was allegedly committed by one man, the official said. The other suspects are accused of either filming the abuse or distributing the footage over the Internet, the official said.
Some of the videos and images of the sexual abuse were allegedly distributed online by a closed system known as Internet Relay Chat - IRC - which requires participants to log in using passwords, the official said.
All the babies and children allegedly abused were male, he said.
Pedro Nunez Morgades, children's rights ombudsman for the Madrid regional government, said the images showed a "worrying trend" in modern communications networks.
The suspects were arrested in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Murcia, Lerida and Valencia.
HAROLD HECKLE, Associated Press Writer
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