Thousands of years behind bars: Welkom-based paedophile gets record jail sentence

No chance of parole: The record-setting sentence handed down by the court reflects the severity of the convicted paedophile’s crimes.

Welkom-based computer engineer Mario Guisti has been sentenced to an unprecedented 8400 years in jail by the Free State High Court, in Bloemfontein, on Tuesday.

The sentence comes after the 36-year-old Guisti was found guilty of more than a thousand charges related to the rape of two young boys, his involvement in human trafficking, as well as the creation and distribution of child pornography.

Guisti’s sentence, though symbolic due to its extreme length, reflects the gravity of his heinous crimes.

Grim dark web discovery, Interpol alert and Free State arrest

Algoa FM reported that Free State police apprehended Guisti in Welkom in August 2022, following an alert from Interpol. The IT engineer was flagged for uploading child sexual assault material onto the dark web.

According to Free State police spokesperson Captain Lorraine Earle, a police team led by Captain Bez Bezuidenhout from the Serial and Electronics Crime Investigation Unit, made an important breakthrough in the case when they found a fingerprint on one of the photos sent to them by Interpol.

“Through the analysis of the fingerprint, they could identify the suspect,” Earle explained.

During his arrest, the police seized his electronic equipment for further analysis.

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 Paedophile lured boys with computer games

It was then discovered that Guisti’s disturbing activities went beyond the creation and distribution of child pornography.

According to Earle, he lured two boys, aged between eight and 10, to partake in his heinous activities by initially offering them computer games.

Disturbingly, the parents of the victims trusted him and allowed their children to spend time at his residence, believing they were engaged in playing computer games.

Earle said that In one particularly sinister instance, he convinced one of the young victims to travel all the way from Durban to stay with him for several months. 

This harrowing case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance in protecting vulnerable individuals and the tireless efforts of law enforcement agencies in combating child exploitation.

ALSO READ: Rape accused sentenced to 20 years in prison

 Name of paedophile to be recorded in sexual offenders register

The court ordered that Guisti’s name be recorded in the National Register for Sexual Offenders and he was found unsuitable to work with children.

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