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2 German men get lengthy sentences in big child abuse case

BERLIN (AP) — A court in western Germany convicted two 39-year-old men Friday of serious sexual abuse of children in a case linked to a large network of suspects uncovered last year. The regional court in Moenchengladbach sentenced a man from nearby Krefeld to 13 years and six months in prison for raping his daughter and the niece of the other defendant, who was sentenced to 14 years and six months.

The men, whose lawyers indicated they would appeal the verdicts, weren’t identified for privacy reasons. Police said officers stumbled across images the men had produced and shared online after raiding the home of another man from the western town Bergisch Gladbach.

The discovery of so-called Bergisch Gladbach network, which investigators said may have involved thousands of people, recently prompted the German government to announce it would toughen laws against child sex abuse and child abuse images.

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