Charity Scam Parents Quizzed On Sexual Exploitation Claims

Charity Scam Parents Quizzed On Sexual Exploitation Claims
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A Spanish couple has been arrested over allegedly using the rare illness of their daughter in a charity scam now find themselves investigated for sexually exploiting the 11-year-old girl.

Fernando Blanco (52), a former DJ on the holiday island of Ibiza, and his wife Margarida Grau were surrounded by reporters on Friday as they appeared in court in the mountain town of Seu D’Urgell in the northwestern region of Catalonia for questioning.  They were summoned after police found naked pictures of their daughter Nadia Nerea, who they say suffers from a rare genetic disorder called trichothiodystrophy, on a USB drive that belonged to Blanco.

Catalan television station TV3 reported that one image showed the couple having sexual intercourse in front of Nadia. Other pictures of Nadia contained “sexual content”, the station said without elaborating further.

The couple told the judge the pictures were taken to track the progress of their daughter’s disease, which in mild cases only gives patients brittle hair but, when severe, causes delayed development, intellectual disability, and recurrent infections that can lead to death at an early age.

“There is nothing special about the pictures. There is no pornographic, sexual or exploitative content,” the couple’s lawyer Alberto Martin told reporters. The explanation did not convince the judge who opened an investigation into the couple for “exhibitionism, sexual provocation and sexual exploitation”.

The pair were already under investigation since December for fraud after police accused them of spending nearly 600,000 euros ($637,000) of the 918,000 euros they had raised for their daughter’s treatment.

They allegedly used the money for their own personal expenses, including a car, clothes, travel and luxury watches. The couple established a charity in 2009 and, in addition to channeling requests for donations through the media, have held fundraising events and collected money via a dedicated Facebook page.

 

  • Source: straitstimes
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