SYDNEY, July 3, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Police in Australia have described as "depraved" the case of a six-year-old boy who was sexually abused by his adoptive homosexual "fathers" and other men who were part of an international child-porn syndicate known as the Boy Lovers network.
Authorities in Australia and the US worked together to arrest and charge the men after it emerged that the boy had been offered to men in Australia, the US, France and Germany for sexual exploitation and the production of child pornography from a very young age.
Last week one of the men, an American named Mark J. Newton, 42, was jailed in the U.S. for 40 years and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution to the child, while the other, Peter Truong, 36, from New Zealand, awaits sentencing in his home country.
"None of these cases are very good," Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, who heads Australia’s Queensland Police Taskforce Argos, which investigates online child exploitation and abuse, told the AFP news agency.
"What's pretty sad about this one is the way this child came into their lives. It's just really a tragedy. It's extremely depraved."
According to reports, Newton and Truong, living in Cairns, Australia at the time, began looking for a surrogate mother to give birth to a child in 2002.
The same-sex couple finally found a woman in Russia who gave birth to their child for a fee of $8,000. Mark Newton is believed to be the biological father of the boy, dubbed "Adam" in order to protect his identity.
Adam was handed over to Newton and Truong five days after his birth in 2005.
Australian media covered Adam's arrival home, describing the two men as happy, loving fathers.
In a case of bitter irony, in one article Mark told a reporter that authorities had questioned he and Peter at length when they first brought Adam to Australia, and that he was sure that they were under suspicion of pedophilia. But, he said, "We're a family just like any other family."
On July 14, 2010, when Adam was 5 years old, ABC Far North Queensland broadcast a story titled "Two dads are better than one" which stated that "becoming parents was hard work for gay couple Pete and Mark, but they'd do it all over again if they had to.”
"We decided that we would have a child, that it was time for us to have a family," Newton and Truong told ABC. "We wanted to experience the joys of fatherhood."
"It's a happy, relaxed family," ABC said, "but it wasn't an easy road to get there. After many hurdles, [Adam] was born by surrogacy in Russia."
Russian news service RT Novosti reported that Adam began to be sexually abused by his same-sex ‘dads’ when he was 22 months old.
"Later on," RT Novosti reported, "they made Adam available for sex with other members of the pedophile ring in Australia, France, Germany and the US, for which Newton and Truong had to travel extensively. Police investigators have found proof of at least eight men in these countries having contact with Adam when he was between the ages of two and six."
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Two other men, American residents John R Powell, 41, a Florida-based lawyer, and Jason Bettuo, a 36-year-old Michigan tennis coach, have also been charged, according to Australia's Channel 7 News.
Police began the investigation that led to the arrests after a chance discovery of suspicious images during a raid on the home of a child sex offender in Wellington, NZ.
Australian police said the images themselves were not illegal, but were recognized as "modelling shots."
Further investigations unearthed chat logs between Newton and Truong and other members of the Boy Lovers network.
When police raided the homosexual couple's home in Cairns they found enough evidence on computers and other video devices to ensure their arrest. Adam was removed and placed in foster care.
At his sentencing hearing, held in District Court in Indianapolis, Newton told the court that, "being a father was an honor and a privilege that amounted to the best six years of my life," according to the NY Daily News.
US District Judge Sarah Evans Barker responded, "Words don't help ... What can be said? What can be done to erase some of the horror of this?"
Judge Barker added that she felt Newton deserved a more severe sentence but that he was tried at district court level to save a jury from having to look at the images produced by the defendants.
"These men submitted this young child to some of the most heinous acts of exploitation that this office has ever seen," said Indiana U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, after the hearing.
Russian Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, Pavel Astakhov, told RT Novosti that the Russian government is tightening up adoption laws to prevent another case like Adam's.
“Russian orphans always attracted foreign perverts because of accessibility. The foreigners were simply coming and taking children for money,” Astakhov said.
In December 2012, Russia passed the ‘Dima Yakovlev Law’ that banned American citizens from adopting Russian children.
In June 2013, the state Duma passed an amendment that bans the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples from abroad and forbids single people who are citizens or permanent residents of countries that allow same sex "marriage" to become adoptive parents or legal guardians of Russian children.
Russia itself does not allow same sex "marriage" and the country’s authorities have passed a number of regional and federal bills banning the promotion of homosexual and other sexual aberrations to children.