The two men from Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein are set to go before a court next week for multiple charges of severe sexual abuse of a small child.
The 28-year-old father and his 47-year-old acquaintance are also accused of having filmed part of the abuse and broadcast it live through online chat sessions. On some occasions the girl had been gagged and thus placed in a life-threatening situation, prosecutors report.
A man who had met the father through an online dating site alerted child protective services in November 2016 to the case after the 28-year-old sent him photos and videos of the alleged crime through WhatsApp messenger.
Child services then contacted police, who arrested the father three days later.
His statements then led police to find the other accused man. Upon his arrest, the second man had just gone into an encrypted chat room, prosecutors said.
The father faces nine counts of abusive offences, while the 47-year-old faces four charges.
The little girl’s father has also confessed to some of the accusations, prosecutors said.
Searches of the two defendants’ apartments uncovered instruments that investigators say were used to bind and gag the small child.
The investigation has also led police onto the hunt for further suspects, who reportedly received the child porn materials from the two men. Some of these suspects are believed to have followed the sexual abuse of the two-year-old through live chats and may have encouraged the two men to perform certain acts on the girl, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors told local news site Lübecker Nachrichten (LN) that there were around 50 participants in the live chats. A spokesperson also said that money had not been involved in the live chats.
The child has been left severely traumatized by the abuse, according to LN, and is now in the custody of her mother, who is believed to have not known about what the father was doing because the assaults took place either at night or while she was at work. The father was meanwhile unemployed.