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Germans Convicted of Pedophilia, Pole Arrested

November 27, 1996

BERLIN (AP) _ A judge sentenced two Germans to jail Wednesday for child pornography and having sex with children, and said they were homosexual pedophiles but not ``sex monsters.″

Judge Heinz Peter Plefka said that, although the men had sex with boys, they did not physically mistreat them.

Thomas Sassen, 33, had his 4-year sentence suspended. His accomplice, Dieter Ullmann, 43, was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison.

The judge said Sassen had made a full confession, shown remorse and promised to return to live at his parents’ house.

``Both defendants have it more difficult than the majority of people because they cannot enjoy their sexuality without committing a crime,″ the judge said.

Sassen traveled to Thailand to lure boys into making pornographic videos. Ullmann used his contacts in the pedophilia scene to sell them.

Sassen also lured two boys from a public pool in Germany to watch the videos and to have sex with one of them.

Convictions on child-sex charges in Germany became possible only when the law was changed in 1993, but few have been pronounced. Prosecutors say they have trouble gathering evidence and finding witnesses willing to testify.

In a separate pedophilia case, a former army major has been arrested in Poland for allegedly running that country’s largest child sex ring.

The man was not identified, but Polish television reported Wednesday he was a 40-year-old former army major who allegedly ran a club that offered teen-age boys to clients found through newspapers ads.