Little girl who was subjected to horrific sexual abuse in online videos rescued by police Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP
Police guard in front of a shopping mall in Essen, Germany, Saturday, March 11, 2017. Police have ordered the shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack. The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed Saturday morning as over a hundred police officers searched the compound. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

Soon after German police took the unusual step on Monday of publicly releasing photos of a 4-year-old girl being abused in a series of videos uploaded on the so-called “dark net,” the child was rescued, and the mother’s partner was arrested, the Sun reports.

Before midnight, both the child and the suspect, a 24-year-old man, were identified, and the man was turned in by the little girl’s mother and grandmother, police say. The photos of the female victim were released with an appeal for information about her identity.

The Sun reported that police recovered evidence from the suspect’s apartment that linked him to the victim. He is set to appear in court soon, facing what the paper described as nine “serious” sexual abuse charges. Police said the child was subjected to abuse between October 2016 and July 2017.

The chief prosecutor, Georg Ungefuk, from the Central Office for Combating Cyber Crime, said the alleged perpetrator is a German citizen and is currently being questioned.

The little girl is now in the care of child psychiatrists.

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The perpetrator uploaded vile videos of the little girl suffering, according to The Sun. The footage and images were said to have sickened longtime, hardened law enforcement officers.

Ungefuk took the extreme measure of releasing images of the girl as a last resort to identify her and her tormentor, saying at the time: “This is the last measure to identify the perpetrator. We only fell back on this as all other possibilities have not led to finding out who she is.”

“We assume that the child is further exposed to the perpetrator’s access,” Ungefuk added.


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