Thursday, September 16, 2021

A Dublin man, described as the world’s largest facilitator of child abuse imagery, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison in the US.

Eric Eoin Marques was handed down the sentence on Wednesday in a court in Maryland, after pleading guilty to conspiring to advertise child abuse images on the dark web between 2008 and 2013.

The 36-year-old was extradited to the US by Irish authorities two years ago to face the criminal charges.

Prosecutors said his anonymous service contained more than 8.5 million images of child abuse, with almost 2 million involving victims not known to officers.

Noeline Blackwell, chief executive of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, says his sentence was the maximum of what he could have received under the plea agreement.

Ms Blackwell told Newstalk: “The 27-year sentence was a very significant sentence, for a very significant set of crimes over a number of years. There is hardly anything that you can think of that is a worse crime than the exploitation and abuse of children and the facilitation by criminals of making money out of that extreme abuse of children.”

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