Conn. Woman Snagged in Child Porn Racket

Gretchen Gallen
HARTFORD, Conn. – A woman accused of coercing children to perform sexual acts and then posting live video on the Internet was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Hartford Superior Court Friday.

The trail leading to Paula Diaz began in Japan after a videotape of child sex acts was discovered that took investigators all the way to Connecticut where Diaz resides with her family.

Diaz, 40, an alleged drug addict, forced the young girls she recruited into having sex with men and then videotaped the acts, which she then posted online. Investigators said Diaz typically worked only with girls under 10 years old.

The Diaz investigation began two years ago after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Japan was handed one of the videotapes. The origin of the tape was pieced together after investigators traced a radio station being played in the background of the tape all the way back to Hartford, Conn.

Diaz reportedly pleaded guilty on March 30 to two counts of promoting a child in an obscene performance, two counts of tampering with a witness, and various other lesser charges. She is also accused of forcing two girls into prostitution.

As part of her plea bargain, Diaz agreed to the sentence.

"I want to say forgive me to the police for what happened," Diaz said at the time of her sentencing. "I'm sorry I did not cooperate with them in the beginning."

While Japan maintains strict anti-porn laws that make it illegal to sell or distribute child porn, there are currently no laws that stop individuals who show pornographic images of children on their websites.

Japan has made recent inroads in terms of trying to coordinate its laws with those of other countries stepping-up the fight against child porn.

Japan is said to be one of the largest distributors of child pornography. Some statistics claim the country is responsible for almost 80 percent of all child porn trafficking.