By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
EDINBURGH, Scotland, November 3, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An influential gay rights activist and youth group leader, and another homosexualist activist, have been jailed for life for their involvement in the largest pedophile ring ever uncovered in Scotland.
James Rennie, one time co-coordinator of the homosexual rights group LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Youth Scotland and a former teacher, and Neil Strachan, the former secretary of a Celtic boys club and campaigner on homosexual issues, were convicted in May on charges including sex attacks on children, conspiring to abuse children, and possessing and distributing child pornography.
Rennie and Strachan were the ringleaders of the pedophile network which was uncovered in 2007 after an intensive police investigation, codenamed Operation Algebra.
The investigation led to the arrest of six other men besides Rennie and Strachan, and to the seizure of over 125,000 images and videos of child abuse.
Rennie, 38, was convicted of 14 offenses, including molesting a young boy who was left occasionally under his care by friends over a period of more than four years, beginning when the child was three months old. Rennie was sentenced to life with a minimum of 13 years behind bars.
Strachan, 41, was convicted for nine offenses, including attempting to sodomize an 18-month-old boy and sexually assaulting a six-year-old boy. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 16 years in prison.
The judge, Lord Bannatyne, said the pair were guilty of gross and appalling breaches of trust since both men had abused children entrusted to them for babysitting by close friends. They had both photographed the abuse.
“These offences involve real children and many of the photographs involve children being sexually abused, often in the most appalling ways. There are real victims of these offences, namely the children who were photographed and abused,” Lord Bannatyne said.
Bannatyne imposed a “lifelong restriction” order, used for the most serious and violent sexual offenders, on both men, indicating they were likely to “seriously endanger the physical wellbeing of a member of the public.” This order will place them under risk assessment and management plans until they die.
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