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SEX EDUCATION

Child abuser led anti-sex ed campaign: report

One of the leaders campaigning against sex education in primary schools resigned on Thursday as details of his alleged involvement in child abuse came to light.

An initiative was launched on Tuesday by Basel City Parents committee to “protect against sexualization in kindergarten and primary schools”.

Soon after the launch it emerged that one of the campaign’s driving forces, 60-year-old Benjamin Spühler, had previously been convicted of sexually abusing a young girl, newspaper Blick reported.

The newspaper said Spühler was sentenced in 1996 to three and a half years in prison for regularly abusing a girl aged between 12 and 15 years old.

Spühler told Blick on Thursday morning that he had never had sex with a child. Nevertheless, hours later he resigned.

“I knew nothing of such a judgment,” 38-year-old Sebastian Frehner of the Swiss People’s Party and co-president of the initiative committee told the newspaper. “It is clearly not on to have such a person fronting the campaign.”

The proponents of the initiative want to prevent children younger than nine from being taught any sex education at all, although certain education relating to child abuse would be permitted. From ages nine to twelve, the committee wants sex education to be non-compulsory so that families can choose to either opt in or out.

From age twelve onwards, the initiators say, children would receive education about sex and reproduction during biology lessons, which they argue is the proper place for such instruction.

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CHILD ABUSE

‘Jeckyl and Hyde’ paedophile gets eight years in prison

The 80-year-old husband of a child minder was handed the sentence by a Geneva court after being found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

'Jeckyl and Hyde' paedophile gets eight years in prison
File photo: John Morgan/Flickr

Passing down the harsh sentence, judges said the man’s behaviour had been “despicable” and that the accused had inflicted “dreadful acts” upon the two boys.

During the trial, the court heard the man had abused one of the boys for two years, while a second child suffered abuse for a decade.

The accused was described as “an ogre who feasts on young flesh” by the boys’ lawyers and as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character by the mother of the boy abused for ten years.

The victim of a decade of abuse “would vomit on leaving the man’s house” and took to smoking cannabis “to escape reality”. He later made a suicide attempt.

The accused was jailed immediately after the court hearing with judges fearing he would reoffend.

During the trial he described himself as a “Father Christmas” style character who had been “too good” to the boys. He also said they had made up stories about him – accusations discounted by the court.

“I have never been a paedophile. I’ve done a lot for children,” the man was quoted as saying in Swiss daily Le Matin.

As part of the sentence handed down, the man’s victims will receive sums of 30,000 Swiss francs and 50,000 Swiss francs.