South African serial child sex offender gets 12 life sentences

South African serial child sex offender gets 12 life sentences

Gerhard Ackerman, who ran a massage parlor, was found guilty of 723 counts including rape, sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography

By Hassan Isilow

A court in South Africa sentenced a 52-year-old man found guilty of committing several sex crimes against children to 12 life sentences on Monday.

Gerhard Ackerman was found guilty of 723 counts including rape, sexual exploitation of children, possession of child pornography, attempted murder and making a living through proceeds of crime.

‘‘Mr. Ackerman, you have not displayed remorse for the enormity of your actions. In fact, you’re not a benevolent, caring person. Mr. Ackerman, you’re sentenced to 12 life sentences,” Judge Mohamed Ismail of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg said in his judgement.

Ackerman, who operated a massage parlor in Johannesburg, was found on the wrong side of the law for arranging boys between the ages of 14 and 16 to perform massages with sexual experiences on adult clients.

“The accused was instrumental in making videos of child pornography, which he distributed to his clients. The accused benefited from child victims. He arranged children to participate in activities where he received a benefit from their actions in massaging or engaging in lewd sexual activities with his clients,” Judge Ismail said.

He said Ackerman promoted the illicit business and made a living from the exploitation of activities performed by the children.

Ismail said that although Ackerman has been sentenced to 12 life sentences, he will in essence serve one life sentence.

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