Home » ‘Model director’ does not have to go to jail for sex dates with teenagers: “Everything happened with mutual consent” (Domestic)

‘Model director’ does not have to go to jail for sex dates with teenagers: “Everything happened with mutual consent” (Domestic)

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The ball started rolling in early 2022. Based on information from another file, investigators raided the home of Philip D. (64). Numerous incriminating videos were discovered on his computer. About twenty boys could be identified, with whom D. had sex dates over a period of ten years.

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The meetings often took place in De Haan, in the country residence of Daniël W. from Zoersel in Antwerp. But dates were also arranged on the beach. In some cases the duo paid the boys, who were minors at the time of the facts. Two victims were barely fifteen years old. D. and his companion secretly filmed the meetings and forwarded the images to others.

From suspension to retirement

When the facts came to light, D. had already been at the helm of ‘sailor school’ Koninklijk Werk Ibis in Bredene for 25 years. He had an impeccable record there, but when he fell from his pedestal, D. was suspended. He is now retired.

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D. when leaving the courtroom after a previous hearing. — © rr

D. was arrested at the beginning of 2022, but released under conditions after interrogation. He was prosecuted for rape, sexual assault, incitement to fornication, voyeurism and distribution of images of child abuse. During the trial, which took place behind closed doors last month, the prosecutor asked for a five-year prison sentence, with or without partial suspension. Master Stijn Leliaert agreed with this, but asked not to send his client back to prison.

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Leliaert’s request was granted on Monday. The Bruges criminal court sentenced D. to two years in prison and a fine of 4,000 euros. She took into account his clean criminal record and the passage of time since the facts. The court acquitted him of rape, but found him guilty of sexually assaulting two fifteen-year-old boys. “Everything happened with mutual consent and without any violence, coercion or threats. The sexual contacts with the over-sixteen-year-olds were not punishable under the law at the time,” the court said.

The court also found D. guilty of production, possession and distribution of child pornography, incitement to indecency of minors and grooming of two underage boys. D. was acquitted of grooming against six other minors, because the criminal law at the time only made grooming punishable with regard to under-sixteen year olds.

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When the facts came to light, Philip D. had already been at the helm of ‘sailor school’ Koninklijk Werk Ibis in Bredene for 25 years, where he also welcomed the royal couple. — © efo

Remarkable: no conditions are attached to the postponement. “My client has always complied with his conditions perfectly,” says Leliaert. “He went to therapy for his sex addiction and learned to realize that his actions were morally and socially reprehensible. His therapy is as good as completed and I am satisfied that the court recognizes that sex offenders are indeed treatable. After all, some psychiatrists claim the opposite.”

“My client has always complied with his conditions perfectly. He went to therapy for his sex addiction and learned to see that his actions were morally and socially reprehensible.”

Stijn Leliaert

Lawyer for Philip D.

Leliaert emphasizes that everything happened in the private sphere. “No students from the school were involved,” he said. “My client led a double life and arranged the dates on websites for people over 18. But a lot of those guys lied about their age. In my client’s experience, they were always older than sixteen. There was never any question of coercion and the court has now confirmed this. In my opinion, the verdict is very correct and legally well-founded.”

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Reclusive existence

D. did not show up on Monday to hear the verdict. “That is not necessary,” says Leliaert. “He now leads a secluded life. He got divorced, his children broke up with him and he obviously had to let go of his double life. He won’t have the retirement he dreamed of. The impact of media attention cannot be underestimated. The court also took this into account. My client is relieved that he does not have to go to prison.”

Daniël W. also received a two-year suspended prison sentence and a 4,000 euro fine for creating, possessing and distributing images of child abuse, incitement to fornication of minors and grooming. He was also acquitted of rape. Unlike the school director, W. was not found guilty of sexual assault. Both D. and W. were acquitted of voyeurism, as it was not yet punishable at the time of the facts.

Koninklijk Werk Ibis was a civil party in the case and was awarded 1,125 euros in damages. The school said it suffered serious damage to its image as a result of the facts.

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