Child porn probe frees dozens of girls

Dec. 13, 2008 at 1:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Dozens of girls in the United States and abroad allegedly forced to take part in child pornography have been freed by law enforcement officers, officials say.

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said thanks to the U.S. Justice Department and the European Union, the young girls have been freed from a life of sexual abuse and more than 170 people have been arrested on child pornography charges, CNN reported Saturday.

"This joint EU-U.S. coordinated effort began with the discovery in Europe of a father who was sexually abusing his young daughters and producing images of that abuse," Mukasey said Friday.

Officials said 61 individuals were arrested and 11 girls were freed by authorities in the United States. CNN said the freed girls ages ranged from 3 to 13.

The news network said, according to authorities, the initial abuse investigation expanded to 30 countries and uncovered multiple online child pornography rings.

Investigators said they were expecting to conduct additional arrests and were hopeful they would locate as-of-yet unidentified child victims.

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