gay parents child abuse
Mark J. Newton and Peter Truong with their 'son'
An American pedophile has been convicted to 40 years in prison for years of sexual abuse of an adopted Russian boy. His boyfriend from New Zealand who allegedly assisted in meticulously recording acts of sexual offence is going on trial at home.

Two members of the pedophile porn exchange ring Boy Lovers network, Mark J. Newton, 42 and his long-term partner Peter Truong, 36, were busted in 2011 on suspicion that they were sexually molesting their son, born to a Russian mother in 2005.

A US judge in Indianapolis has imposed maximum sentence on American-born Mark J. Newton, 42, for sexual exploitation of a minor and conspiracy to possess child pornography. Newton is also obliged to pay $400,000 in compensation to the boy's account.

Newton's boyfriend Peter Truong, 36, awaits court in New Zealand.

US District Judge Sarah Evans Barker explained that Mark Newton was tried at district court level to save a jury from seeing the images produced by the defendants.

"'What can be said? What can be done to erase some of the horror of this?'' Judge Barker said while handing down her sentence, sharing a belief that the pair deserved a stricter punishment.

''Personally ... I think this is probably one of the worst [pedophile] rings ... if not the worst ring I've ever heard of,'' investigator Brian Bone of the US Postal Inspection Service told reporters outside the US Federal Courtroom.

"Russian orphans always attracted foreign perverts because of accessibility. The foreigners were simply coming and taking children for money," Russian Ombudsman for Children's Rights Pavel Astakhov told RT.

Russia has recently adopted two laws on adoption of Russian children by foreign families. In December 2012, Russia adopted the 'Dima Yakovlev Law' banning American citizens from adopting Russian children. In June 2013, the State Duma passed an amendment that bans the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples from abroad.

"In forbidding foreign adoptions we put a barrier against scoundrels," Astakhov said, pointing out that he knows a number of similar cases when foreigners adopted children with solely sexual intent.

Astakhov told RT that the rehabilitation process for the boy, currently adopted by another American family, will take a long time. He noted that according to Russian law an adopted child remains a Russian citizen until lawful age and promised to closely follow boy's life in the new family.

To avoid future harm to the child, the investigators named the boy 'Adam' in all official documents.

Astakhov stressed that he fully trusts the American specialists responsible for Adam's rehabilitation.

"International cooperation in the sphere of struggle against pedophiles gives Russia an opportunity to identify, expose and punish the criminals, protect children," he said.

The story of 'Adam'

Reportedly, starting from 2002, the gay couple of Newton and Truong attempted to find a surrogate mother to give birth to their child. Having failed to find a surrogate mother in the US, where both were working at the time as computer experts, the pair finally found a woman in Russia who gave birth to their child for a fee of $8,000. Mark Newton is believed to be the biological father of the boy dubbed 'Adam'.

Adam was handed over to Newton and Truong a mere five days after his birth in 2005.

Newton and Truong gave media interviews as a gay couple with an adopted child, stating that their son was born to a Russian surrogate mother they found on the internet.

"Being a father was an honor and a privilege that amounted to the best six years of my life," Newton told the court minutes before his sentence was announced.

At the age of 22 months, Adam was sexually abused by his 'adoptive parents' for the first time. After that he was abused on a daily basis. The 'parents' took photos and video recorded practically everything they did to him.

Later on they made Adam available for sex with other members of the pedophile ring in Australia, France, Germany and the US, for which Newton and Truong had to travel extensively. The investigators have found proof of at least eight men in these countries having contact with Adam when he was between the ages of two and six.

Two of these pedophiles have been charged already: they are American residents John R. Powell, 41, a Florida-based lawyer, and Jason Bettuo, a 36-year-old Michigan tennis coach.

Adam was made to believe that the life he lived was normal. He was also trained to give 'correct' answers if questioned about his life by an outsider, so when investigators first talked to him they got no information about his parents' double life.

As the investigation continued, it emerged that Newton and Truong had contacts with some children in Australia who had been questioned. But so far the investigators got no additional information from them.

Busting pedophile syndicate

Newton and Truong came to the attention of police in August 2011 after three men in the US, New Zealand and Germany were arrested over the possession of child exploitation materials.

In all three locations investigators found family photos of Newton and Truong together with Adam, as it turned out that the gay couple had visited all three of the arrested.

They also found proof of Truong and Newton communicating with other child sex offenders.

Having this information, Australia's Queensland Police Taskforce Argos, which targets pedophiles, conducted several raids and searched the couple's house in Cairns, which was equipped with a sophisticated set-up of surveillance cameras. The evidence found there was enough to alert the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) already investigating the Boy Lover network.

The US police raided the couple's Los Angeles residence in October 2011. As a result the couple was taken into custody and Adam was placed into care.

At first Newton and Truong claimed they were being targeted because of being gay.

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, head of Queensland police anti-pedophile Taskforce Argos rejected their claims, saying his unit targets anyone who harms children.

"If you're harming a child - I don't care what your gender is - we will take action. Our interest is the child, not your sexual preference," said Inspector Rouse in an exclusive interview with Seven News.

Inspector Rouse revealed that his unit had encountered other members of the Boy Lovers network investigating several cases of child sex abuse in area between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast several years ago.

Newton and Truong were arrested in February 2012, but investigators still lacked evidence because the hard drives they extracted from suspects' computers were encrypted in a most sophisticated manner.

Finally, Truong gave investigators the password to the hard drives and it was there that police found a detailed diary of years of child abuse and information that led to the identification of some of the pedophiles' associates.