Strong case against suspected paedophile

25 August 2021 | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected]

Alleged paedophile Johann Maree (50) who is accused of raping and abusing dozens of underage boys to create child pornography, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday for a formal application for bail.
The state opposed the application based on seven objections, including the serious nature of the offense, the likelihood that Maree would interfere with the investigation and state witnesses, public interest and the fact that the state has a strong case against Maree.
State prosecutor Like Phelem, during cross-examination, said the State received 17 statements from witnesses alleging that Maree raped and / or sexually abused them. “We also have boys who will testify during the trial that you gave them alcohol,” Phelem said.
He added that Maree's computer hard drive was in the State’s possession and that naked photos of the underage boys had allegedly been found on it.
During yesterday's bail application, the State also read out parts of a confession that Maree signed, wherein he admits guilt and explains what he did to each boy. When Phelem asked him to comment on the confession, Maree said he would exercise his right to remain silent and that he would only comment on the content of the confession during the trial.
When Maree's legal representative, Eva Nangolo, asked him to respond to the State's allegation that they had a strong case against him, Maree said he was not convinced, saying the case is based on allegations.

Website
During yesterday's bail hearing, Maree said he had a modelling business called Boy Idols, which he ran for about 15 years.
According to him, he compiled model portfolios of young boys, between the ages of six and 19, which he then uploaded to a website with the permission of the parents of the minor boys.
International companies, such as clothing or manufacturing companies related to fashion, then selected models from the website.
According to Maree, they then sent clothes, or gave him money to buy clothes. He then took them off in those clothes and for this he received payment.
Maree testified that he did the model portfolios for free, but shared the income of international companies with the model. The model received 95% of the fee.
He denied allegations that paedophiles had access to inappropriate footage on the dark web through his website.
The bail hearing is scheduled to resume on 8 September.

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