Child sexual abuse was a way of life for this man. Freddy Peats, the name rings horror in the minds of many even today. For those who don’t know, he was convicted of sexually abusing children in an orphanage run by him. His operations were discovered on April 3, 1991. Others who exploited the children along with Peats had arrived in the state as tourist.
2,305 obscene photographs were recovered from Peats’ flat in Margao. The images were shocking. To understand the horror, here is a quote given to The Independent in 1996 by Sheila Barse, a child-rights activist from Mumbai speaking in regards of a two and a half year old girl,
“Another partially visible man holds her legs while his huge organ stabs and twists into her. The baby’s mouth is stretched in an explosive expression of unbearable pain and shock. Her face is rumpled and you can tell she’s screaming. The effect on me of that photo is traumatic enough, but think of what it was like for her – the baby.” She Said. The same report mentions besides the pictures, the police also found anti-spasmodic drugs, Syringes and pain-killers in the flat.
Peats disclosed in an interview to Outlook India magazine in 1996 (April 10). This was after his conviction, that he started ‘Gurukul’ (his orphanage) as early as 1974. Where he claimed to have looked after 200 boys over a period of 20 years. He also said he did not commit any crime. He was an Indian citizen of German descent. Along with Peats five others were accused in the same case. But not all were apprehended.
Among them Eoghan Colm McBride from New Zealand and Dominique Sebire from France were arrested in 1996. However due to police negligence, Sebire managed to escape while on bail in 2002. He has been absconding ever since. As for McBride, he was sentenced to seven years of Rigorous imprisonment in 2002.
Another accused Werner Wulf Ingo from Australia was arrested and extradited to India in 2005. “Werner Wulf Ingo, a businessman, was picked up from Sidney by a team comprising of two of our officers. He is one of the accused in the Goa child sex abuse case, and faces some very serious charges,” said a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson (source – Times of India on August 25, 2005).
The remaining accused still at large are, Neels Oscar Johnson from Sweden, Raymond Varley, a British citizen is believed to be currently hiding in Bangkok and Zell Jurgen Adreas alias Yogi from Germany. The arrested accused were convicted and sentenced for offences such as criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, abducting and selling minors for prostitution.
Not much has changed since then as reports of abuse keep coming. In 2011, Arch bishop of Goa and Daman had mentioned child sexual abuse is on rise in Goa due to some bad elements in the tourism industry. Goa Police statistics showed 80 cases were registered in regards to child sexual abuse from 2014 (April) to 2015(July).