Sentences handed down in child sex abuse convictions

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Associated Press

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 3 at 4:36 PM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A Portuguese court has sentenced six men to jail terms of between six and 18 years in a child sex abuse case that shocked the country.

The six men and one woman were found guilty earlier today of crimes including sexually abusing minors and adolescents, raping children and running a pedophile ring at a state-run children's home in Lisbon during the 1990s.

The trial lasted nearly six years and included testimony from more than 800 witnesses, including victims.

The longest sentence was given to a former driver at the home, who confessed to more than 600 crimes and gave evidence against the other defendants.

Others sent to prison were a popular television presenter with a three-decade career in show business and a decorated career diplomat and former UNESCO ambassador.

The seventh defendant was a woman whose house was used by the ring. The judge said, without elaborating, that she wasn't given a custodial sentence because of a 2007 change in the law.

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<<APPHOTO XAF101 (09/03/10)>>

: Carlos Cruz, a popular former television presenter, arrives at a court in Lisbon, Friday, Sept. 3 2010 for the verdict of a major child sex abuse trial that has lasted almost six years. A former worker at a state-run orphanage admitted to participating in a network that systematically abused children and implicated six other defendants including Carlos Cruz .

<<APPHOTO XAF107 (09/03/10)>>

: Former diplomat and Unesco ambassador Jorge Ritto, a defendant in a major child sex abuse trial that has lasted almost six years arrives at a court in Lisbon, Friday, Sept. 3 2010 for the verdict. A former worker at a state-run orphanage called Casa Pia admitted to participating in a network that systematically abused children and implicated six other defendants.

<<APPHOTO XAF113 (09/03/10)>>

: Gertrudes Nunes leaves a court in Lisbon, Friday, Sept. 3 2010 following the verdict of a major child sex abuse trial that has lasted almost six years. A former worker at a state-run orphanage admitted to participating in a network that systematically abused children and implicated and was sentenced to 18 years. Nunes, who was alleged to have allowed her house to be used by the abusers, was acquitted on all charges.

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