United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. Photo: Google Maps

An American man has been jailed for seven years after he was found in possession of hundreds of pornographic videos and images showing  children in the Philippines under the age of 12 being sexually abused.

According to the US Department of Justice, David Tjader, 44, also discussed torturing, raping and killing small girls when he contacted a woman in the Philippines called “Pretty Charlene” in 2012. He asked to buy videos and images of children aged from newborn babies to 13.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation subsequently found 118 images and 138 videos of children being abused on a cellphone and computer used by Tjader, who lives in Maple, Wisconsin. He paid US$5,000 for them, and was arrested in October, Philippine Lifestyle reported.

“You requested and enjoyed some very disturbing images,” District Judge William Conley said when Tjader appeared for sentencing on three counts of possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty.

Tjader tried to downplay the seriousness of the offence, claiming that “nothing came of the live sex shows”, which mostly involved adults. But Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Altman wrote in a submission that the “seriousness of this offence is difficult to overstate”.

“Traders of child pornography are members of a community of deviant individuals who revel in watching the sexual abuse of young and vulnerable children. The fact that the children suffer the sexual abuse in the first place is a horrible reality, but add to that the continued exploitation of such children by persons like the defendant and it becomes a never-ending tragedy,” she stated.

Eight victims have submitted written impact statements and will be seeking restitution at a hearing scheduled for September 7.

Judge Conley said he would have imposed a longer sentence if it had not been Tjader’s first offence and he didn’t have a possible learning disability. Tjader will be subject to 10 years of supervised release.