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Politician, teachers, arrested in child pornography ring

July 29, 1997

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Police have arrested a politician, a doctor, several teachers and others in cracking a child pornography and prostitution ring, officials said Tuesday.

State television put the number of arrests at 11 and said more were expected.

At least 40 children between the ages of 5 and 14 from the working class Barcelona neighborhood of Raval were involved in the sex ring that, according to the state news agency EFE, had the consent of many of the children’s parents.

The youngest children were enticed with gifts and older children were paid for making pornographic videos and having sex, state television said.

``There’s a group of people in prison suspected of having a direct part in the case. Their participation varies and we’re just at the beginning of the investigation,″ Judge Josep Niubo told reporters.

The judge, court officials and police refused to provide further details, saying the investigation was secret.

However, the Barcelona-based daily La Vanguardia reported that a district council member, several teachers at the Casal d’Infants del Raval day school and a doctor were among those arrested.

The police inquiry was triggered by last month’s arrest of a couple that ``rented″ their 10-year-old son to an alleged pedophile.