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SA's Sex Ring Kingpin Gerhard Ackerman Convicted on Over 700 Charges

© Photo ScreenshotScreenshot from the broadcast showing South African sex ring leader Gerhard Ackerman facing a trial Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg
Screenshot from the broadcast showing South African sex ring leader Gerhard Ackerman facing a trial Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 24.04.2023
Ackerman was reported to begin his criminal activities in 2007 when he exposed himself to two underage boys. He has been charged with several counts of assault in cases that are considered separately from the case of sex grooming, in which he faced an overall of 740 charges.
The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa, found Gerhard Ackerman guilty of multiple counts related to the organization of sexual abuse of children on Monday.
According to the local media, the list of charges includes rape, attempted murder, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, and possession of child porn (a whopping 639 counts), as well as grooming and other atrocities.

At least seven accusations against Ackerman were dropped on the basis that certain counts were repeated and or there was insufficient testimony.

Judge Ismail Mahomed of the Johannesburg High Court noted that despite the 52-year-old's denials of guilt on April 19, saying that he committed no crimes because the young boys "knew what they were doing," he exploited minors and targeted their vulnerability because many of the boys came from low-income homes.
Ackerman made a number of confessions throughout his trial, including the fact that he hired boys as young as 14 to massage his clients despite knowing they would be sexually assaulted. But he was still adamant that he had done nothing wrong.
As the verdict was given, Ackerman's lawyer reportedly appealed for a psychologist's opinion before sentencing, prompting the judge to postpone the trial until July 18 in order to find a suitable psychologist. Ackerman has been remanded into custody, where he is expected to await his sentence.
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Earlier, Ackerman pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him and claimed his massage parlor, where the kids were working, was run legally.
In January this year, he also attempted to abscond from justice, allegedly violating the conditions of bail which he was granted in 2021, but was soon detained and re-arrested in the west of Johannesburg.