Baseball coach David Scott Engle was sentenced to 25 years in prison after amassing a huge collection of child porn, including many clothed genital shots of kids coached by him while they played baseball. Parents assumed he was taking action pictures, while he was really taking close-ups of the kids' privates. Horrible. But it didn't end there. Engle is now being named as the first American to be identified as part of Project Spade, a global team that has been catching pedophiles worldwide. He will also stand trial for raping two boys and videotaping it.
Project Spade has so far arrested 348 people in the U.S., Canada, and 164 other countries. The offenders ranged from school teachers to police officers to clergymen to doctors and nurses. Among them were also people who volunteer with kids, such as Engle. It also rescued 386 young children from sexual exploitation. Hundreds of thousands of videos of children being sexually abused and raped were confiscated.
Project Spade began with a man named Brian Way, 42, who allegedly ran a child porn video company. He allegedly encouraged people to make their own homemade child porn and submit it to his website. He then would distribute the videos to paying customers all over the world. He called his sick production company Azov Films -- as if he made real movies or something!! The videos were marketed as "naturist" films and he would claim they were legal. In fact, the website, which has since been closed down, appears totally official and describes the child pornography as "feature films and documentaries."
People could order child pornography and put it in their cart, just like they were at Amazon ordering books and movies. Azov Films even had a Twitter account, describing the company as offering "videos of nudist life in russia and ukraine and the legal challenges in offering such product in today's world."
But it wasn't quite "nudist life." Authorities say the films contained some of the most horrific child abuse they had ever seen. Police raided Way's home and seized computers, editing machines, and hundreds of videos.
It is this global network that Engle was a part of. He would regularly order videos from the site, but when police raided his home, they also found more pornography, pics he'd taken of the kids he coaches, and videos of children he had allegedly raped.
Unfortunately, it's not difficult to believe how horrifically enormous the problem of child sex trafficking and child pornography is. Hopefully, stories and arrests like this one give pedophiles pause to consider what they're about to do.
Did you know this issue was so large?
Image via Daily Mail