A court handed down lengthy jail sentences Tuesday to a couple for repeatedly sexually abusing their young son and selling him to paedophiles online, in a shocking case that raised pointed questions about the competence of child protection services.
Berrin T, 48, the boy's mother and his stepfather, Christian L, 39, were sentenced after appearing as witnesses for the prosecution against eight men who raped the boy in separate trials earlier this year.
Berrin was sentenced to 12 years and six months by a court in Freiburg, while Christian, the boy's stepfather, was jailed for 12 years.
The pair and six others were arrested last fall.
They charged several thousand euros (dollars) for each instance of abuse, filmed the acts and posted them on the dark net.
Case psychiatrist, Hartmut Pleines, quoted by Spiegel news, said the mother's claim that she was in thrall to her partner when she committed the abuse, was false.
They were accused of having sexually assaulted the boy - who was nine when their trial began in June - as well as pimping him on the darknet for more than two years. It said the mother was aware from the start of the man's pedophile tendencies and previous conviction.
The couple were found guilty of rape, aggravated sexual assault of children, forced prostitution and distribution of child pornography between May 2015 and August 2017.
The mother was often near the scene of the abuse by other men "to exert a calming influence on her child", and in the case of one client participated herself, the court said.
In Tuesday's verdict, the couple was ordered to pay a total 30,000 euros ($34,650) in compensation to the boy and 12,500 euros to the girl they abused previously. A local court, however, returned him to the family weeks later.
Police exposed the paedophile ring after they received an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public.