December 2, 2005

Finn jailed for 11 years for abusing Thai boys

HELSINKI (Reuters) - A Finnish man was jailed for 11 years
on Friday for sexually abusing dozens of boys during trips to
Thailand in what the court called the biggest pedophile case in
Finland's history.

Jouko Jaatinen was detained in April on suspicion of
molesting at least 445 Thai boys aged 13 or younger over the
last 15 years and creating massive amounts of pornography.

The 43-year-old was convicted on 42 counts of abuse and
related offences, many involving several children over
prolonged periods of time, according to court documents. Police
seized hundreds of video recordings, photo albums and disks.

"In weighing Jaatinen's punishment, the significant number
of acts, their seriousness and the guilt implicit in them has
been taken into consideration," the district court said in a

Trial judge Hannele Varpila told Reuters she had never
heard of a pedophile trial in Finland involving more victims.

"We are not used to such big cases," she said.

Jaatinen was caught after returning from his 26th trip to
Thailand since 1989, following a tip-off resulting from a
Belgian investigation.