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Amsterdam Teacher Suspected of Molesting Dozens of Children, Officials Hint at Link to Int'l Probe

Amsterdam Teacher Suspected of Molesting Dozens of Children, Say Authorities
(AP Graphic)

AMSTERDAM (CBS/AP) Amsterdam police enlisted the public's help to provide information on a possible child pornography ring Monday, after a teacher was arrested last week on suspicion of molesting dozens of boys and girls under four years old.

The city's mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, said officials notified more than 50 parents whose children may have been abused, in what appears to be one of the worst sex abuse cases ever in the Netherlands.

European law enforcement agency Eurojust said two separate news conferences are planned in The Hague, Netherlands and Los Angeles, Calif. this week to announce developments in an international child pornography investigation, which has been running since 2008.

The suspect in the Amsterdam case has been identified as 27-year-old Robert M., a Dutch citizen originally from Riga, Latvia, according to a press statement published by Interpol from Lyon, France.  The suspect was arrested Dec. 7 after a Dutch police television program aired what it said was an image of an unidentified victim of child pornography.

Robert M.  apparently worked as a substitute teacher for at least two preschools in Amsterdam and also offered baby-sitting services online. 

Authorities seized the suspect's computers containing child pornography and said he has since confessed to dozens of sex crimes allegedly committed over the past year and a half, according to chief prosecutor Herman Bolhaar.

In an e-mail Monday, Eurojust said a worldwide pedophile network has been uncovered, offenders have been arrested and numerous victims have been rescued as a result of the efforts of the countries involved.