Prison for couple after boy repeatedly raped and sold for sex online

Photographers take pictures of the a man and a woman in the court in Freiburg, southern Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 before they were sentenced to long-term prison sentence for for offering the 9-year-old son of the woman for raping by pedophiles. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)
Photographers take pictures of the a man and a woman in the court in Freiburg, southern Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 before they were sentenced to long-term prison sentence for for offering the 9-year-old son of the woman for raping by pedophiles. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

A German mother and her partner have been convicted over the repeated rape of the woman's young son and for selling him for sex on the internet.

They were sentenced to prison in a case that has horrified the country.

News agency dpa reported that the Freiburg state court in southwestern Germany sentenced the woman, who has been identified only as Berrin T. in line with German privacy rules, to 12 and a half years in prison for rape, sexual abuse and forced prostitution.

Her partner, Christian L., was sentenced to 12 years.

The court ruled that the man, who had a previous conviction for child abuse, must remain in preventive custody after serving his sentence.

The 48-year-old woman and 39-year-old man were accused of repeatedly abusing and raping the boy, now 10, and selling him to other men on the darknet, an area of the internet that can be visited only by using special software, for more than two years.

The abuse was filmed.

The pair and six others were arrested last autumn.

Several men have already been convicted in separate trials.

In Tuesday's verdict, the couple was ordered to pay a total of 42,500 euro (£38,000) in compensation to the boy and another victim, a young girl.

Local authorities have been accused of failing to protect the boy, who now lives with a foster family.

The mother's partner was supposed to be banned from having contact with children.

Officials took the boy out of the family in March last year, but a local court sent him back weeks later.