Two men convicted in one of Germany's worst child sex abuse scandals

The entrance to the Eichwald camping site in Luegde, northwestern Germany.

Berlin, Germany (CNN)A court in Germany has sentenced two men to prison over one of the worst child sex abuse cases in the country's post-war history.

The Detmold district court convicted the two men of sexually abusing dozens of young girls and boys between three and 14 years old and for producing child pornography in over 450 cases.
The men, known only as Andreas V., 56, and Mario S., 34, were sentenced to 13 and 12 years in prison, respectively. German privacy laws prevents authorities from releasing full names.
    Both men will be held in preventative custody after serving their jail sentences and, based on verdict, could effectively end up being locked up for the rest of their lives.
    Thirty-four girls and boys were subjected to sexual abuse by the two men at a campsite in the Luegde Forest in central Germany between 1998 and 2018, the public prosecutor said.
    A third man -- known as Heiko V. -- linked to the case was charged in a separate trial in July for aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of children. He was ordered to attend therapy and handed a two-year probationary sentence.
    Andreas V. lived in the campsite permanently and among his victims was his six-year-old foster daughter, whom prosecutors say he used as "bait" to lure other children.
    German police believe Andreas V. went on to become the ringleader of a pedophile gang that used his family's camper van as its base of operations for decades, abusing dozens of children and recording their crimes for profit on the dark web.
    Authorities say they collected ten computers, nine mobile phones, more than 40 hard drives and more than 400 additional data carriers as evidence from Andreas V and two other men.
    Judge Anke Grudda said it was "difficult to express what happened in words," and that words like "abhorrent, monstrous, repugnant" were not enough to describe the atrocities.
    The case has scandalized the nation, especially after police recently admitted that some of the data confiscated as evidence has been "lost" while in police hands.
    Axel Lehmann, the district council in charge of police oversight, admitted to CNN that "considerable mistakes" had been made by individuals, but said "we are regarded as the safest circle in NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia)."