Friday, March 31, 2017

Headmaster Uploaded Student CP to Darknet Forums

Romain Farina, the director of a school in Villefontaine, France, possessed a massive cache of child pornography, investigators recently discovered. Authorities indicted Farina in 2015 after he sexually abused numerous adolescents who attended his school. Two years later, after a second search of the man’s residence, authorities found hard drives that connected Farina to a darknet identity named “pedo-master.”

Between the 2015 arrest of the headmaster and his later​ suicide in a jail cell, investigators searched the man’s house and came up empty-handed. In mid-March, 2017, authorities conducted another search of his home. They searched his house—fully—upon the realization that they ignored the attic in prior searches. The attic search yielded several storage mediums. The details released failed to fully clarify if the search team also found electronic devices with user interfaces or not. However, the drives contained 500,000 photos and 11,000 videos of child pornography featuring his students. Farina both created the films with his students and uploaded them to darknet forums.

Sébastien Lopez, the father of a child Farina abused, read the report from a forensic laboratory. He explained that the videos featured 26 students—and all of them responded to Farina on a first name basis. Lopez said that officials reported that they identified all 26 victims. They matched previous victim lists, the forensic analysis read. However, Lopez’s lawyer warned that as many as ten of the names featured in the films and uploaded online caused enough concern for a re-analysis.

Jean-Yves Coquillat, the case prosecutor, updated the public once word spread. He explained that authorities identified all 26 names on the list. In the name of utmost caution, he said, the police planned new checks.

“It’s terrible,” Lopez said. “The families of these 26 children are not civil parties in this case, so they have not been informed of these new revelations.” He explained that since many families knew nothing of the incident’s specific details, they lacked the ability to see the information that he saw.

He continued, “they [the families] need to know what their children have suffered for these children to be helped, listened to, and followed. It is up to the state to take care of that matter.The State must take charge of these child victims.”

Lopez credited the investigators but felt saddened by the lack of thoroughness shown the first time around. If authorities checked the attic and “discovered these pieces of evidence, this would have allowed the families involved to lodge a complaint.” He added, “now the investigation will surely end because the main suspect is dead.” Farina ended his own life in his jail cell in 2016. At that time, only Lopez and his child knew any case details. The evidence that the headmaster uploaded pictures of these children to the darknet, however, only recently came to light. The true full extent of the case just surfaced in early 2017.

Maître Rajon, the lawyer for the Collective of Families, formed in Saint-Clair-de-la-Tour, said “I have not been able to read this report. I get calls from anguished families who want to know if their child is part of the victims. It’s horrible.” Rajon, too, applied as a civil party. The court has not yet offered a response however. These recent findings developed over the course of two–three days.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Grenoble received the new evidence and report but made no announcement regarding the next steps. Prosecutors rarely continue with cases once the primary suspect dies, Farina’s attorney explained. He said that the Ministry of National Education “was aware of these new facts and should react during the day.”