Studio 13 Arts
Studio 13 Arts is a company set up by Daniel Leuenberger and Alexander "Sasha" Fradis, and several unknown financers from Switzerland, for online subscription service and nude child photography studios in late 2000. It was also used by Alexander Fradis after he left Eternal Nymphets for his own studios. After 2002, the business model was changed to feature entirely non-nude photography. Daniel's Studio 13 Arts website was located at www.studio13-arts.com.
The Studio 13 Arts company, initially called Studio 13 was set up in early 2000 with Swiss funding with the idea of Alexander (Sasha) Fradis being the photographer and main model finder in Moldova (where most the girls come from). The swiss financiers, which included Daniel Leuenberger, first noticed Fradis when he had an exhibit in Germany. He was already semi-famous for artistic early teen nudes between 1996-2001. Fradis had three personal exhibitions in Munich (1997-1998), in Moscow (1998), ... in Chisinau (1997), and in Odessa.
In the summer of 2000, Daniel Leuenberger met Alexander Fradis in Munich, Germany, along with the owners from the company Jucom AG based in Switzerland. At the time, Jucom AG was a company that published erotic teen sites as well as underage art, though only well-known scans from the 70-90's. During this meeting, it was decided that Daniel, who had the most technical experiance, would create a new site called Eternal Nymphets and contribute with a hard disc and CD burner to Fradis. Fradis would publish about 1/4 of his productions on Eternal Nymphets, and Jucom would contribute with money and receive another 1/4 of the productions. A Russian webmaster operating Lolitas Art and Lolita Dreams provided the camera gear in return of another 1/4 of the production, and another studio called MET-Art purchased the remaining 1/4 of the productions.
"In November-December 1999 I got acquainted through Internet with Alexander Fradis (I was greatly impressed by his exhibition photos), who lived in Munich with his spouse Monica Gisler and his two children. We met each other personally only in 2000. It was at that time that we decided to establish an art project â âStudio-13â. Fradis was poor as a church mouse, and I promised him that I would invest money into this idea. He managed to get financing from other sponsors too. I know that for the first time Alexander visited Odessa in September 1999. After that he visited Ukraine more than once, later on he invited me as well.â -Daniel Leuenberger
So Jucom and Met-Art provided cash, the Russians provided the camera gear and Daniel provided the technical frame for Eternal Nymphets, including some computer gear. With the cash and gear, Fradis headed to Odessa, Ukraine and started producing content. The website for Eternal Nymphets was built in northern Germany during 3 weeks by two programmers in July 2000. It was operational by September 2000 and began providing content produced by Fradis, featuring artistic nudes of children and young adults between the ages of 8-17.
Initially Alexander Fradis was the sole photography and model finder, and ran business without supervision. After a time Daniel Leuenberger received reports that Fradis was mismanaging the business, and moved from Switzerland to Moldova in December of 2000 to take over managing the business. It has been reported that Daniel Leuenberger and Alexander Fradis had many disputes over how to run the business, and regarding Fradis's behavior towards the models.
By March 2001, Alexander Fradis and Daniel Leuenberger broke their partnership under poor terms for multiple reasons. According to several sources, Fradis temporarily took control of the Eternal Nymphets website while deleting most of the unused photo he had taken for Eternal Nymphets but kept copies for himself which he would later sell to other websites.. He also convinced several of the models families to have the girls model exclusively for him.
After the split between Fradis and Daniel , Daniel renamed the studio from Studio 13 to Studio 13 Arts and changed the logo. Fradis kept the original Studio 13 name and logo for his work, selling his unused photos from Eternal Nymphets as well as new content to multiple other studios until 2002. Two of the studios he sold content to were Lolitas Art and Lolita Dreams, which had a partnership with Eternal Nymphets.
Daniel's Studio 13 Arts and Eternal Aphrodites
After the split between Daniel Leuenberger and Alexander Fradis, Daniel eventually regained control of the Eternal Nymphets website, and continued recruiting models and creating new content. He also created Eternal Aphrodites in April 2001, also under the Studio 13 Arts company. It was initially a joint venture between Daniel and the owner behind Holy Nature, and set up as a sister site to Eternal Nymphets, using the same online subscription service set-up.
"Studio 13 Arts is a worldwide unique project based on our strongest believes : freedom of arts and speech, deep respect combined with charitable and educational help. We have no any ties to religious or political groups.
The world in western Europe or North America cannot be compared with the conditions where our girls are living in some very depraved places of eastern Europe. In this regions, many families have a monthly income of only 20 $. And even if they love their children, many boys and girls cannot visit public schools because they have to work to help the family to survive. Many children bake cookies during the evening to sold them the next day on the streets. And this is only a description of one of the most harmless jobs." - Description on the Studio 13 Arts website in 2004.
The first few months of material (April to July 2001) was made up of sets of nudist girls from St Petersburg provided from Holy Nature. Starting in August, Daniel began creating new content using girls recruited by him from Moldova and Ukraine. Many of the girls from Eternal Aphrodites modeled for Eternal Nymphets, and vice versa. This continued until February of 2002, when the studios were raided by the Ukrainian police (see Legal Trouble).
Daniel also sold several duplicates of Eternal Nymphets sets to other studios such as Lolita Dreams. It is also possible he gave the content to them to honor their agreement to provide 1/4 of the content produced for Eternal Nymphets in exchange for equipment.
Fradis's Studio 13
After the split between Alexander Fradis and Daniel Leuenberger in March of 2001, Fradis claimed the Studio 13 company as his own, and started selling the unused photos he had taken for Eternal Nymphets to other studios under the Studio 13 Arts logo. He started creating new content as well using the models who had followed him from Eternal Nymphets. He then sold his photos freelance to other studios such as Lolitas Art and Lolita Dreams, often using the watermark by Alexander Fradis studio 13 exclusively for <studio>. Sometime in August he created Astral Nymphets under the Lilit Studio company, then rebranded it Astral Studios. It is likely he sold content under both the Astral Studios and Studio 13 companies at the same time. This continued until February of 2002, when the studios were raided by the Ukrainian police (see Legal Trouble).
It appears that both Daniel Leuenberger and Alexander Fradis were both under investigation from Ukrainian authorities starting in the middle of 2001, possibly under pressure from the United States of America. It is probable that Leuenberger suspected something, but thought it was due to Fradis. Things starting going poorly for Leuenberger starting in September 2001, and he initially suspected Fradis since they still had bad blood between them.
âMy business started going down after the act of terrorism in New-York on September 11, 2001. The thing is that most of the large Internet services consumers come from the USA. By the end of the year I had an idea to register my own private enterprise in Ukraine â a computer-advertising company âInterMediaâ. At first everything was quite well. But later the advocates stated that in order to positively resolve this issue I needed a fantastic amount of money. I had to quit my original plans. Parallel to this there appeared a threat â a physical one! â for my stay in Odessa. I started noticing that it was not only me who was followed, but also the girls I worked with. I thought those were Fradisâs tricks, but then I realized it was naive to think like that.â -Daniel Leuenberger
On February 1, 2002, Leuenberger set some computer equipment, digital videocameras, and a music mixer, through the âAustrian Airlinesâ baggage department to Zurich, Switzerland, and then flew there himself the next day. Later that month on a Friday, some of the girls and their adult escorts were intercepted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Department while on the railway to Odessa, and detained and questioned. The two escorts from Moldova and Pridnestrovje, and one of the escorts was the Gladcova mother. The models were likely working with Fradis at the time of the arrest given the presence of Lena (big) and the Gladcova mother, who was working exclusively with Fradis at the time. Despite splitting in 2001, Fradis and Leuenberger were apparently considered still associates by the authorities, which later caused the legal case to fail. On the next day, the Muntean mother was arrested as well. Another model who was detained at the railroad according to other sources was Sveta Muntean, though it is not certain which group she was with. According to Daniel, the police applied heavy beatings to mothers and specifically to Sveta Muntean and Svetlana Youngol. Both Fradis's and Leuenberger's studios were raided, but through luck or warning, neither Fradis or Leuenberger (now in Zurich, Switzerland) were there at that time.
âOn friday evening at 21:45 Central european time, our driver, one mother (from Valentina) and the girls Sveta (middle) and Lena (big) have been arrested at the central train station. On staturday evening at 17:30, the mother of Sveta (big), Sabina (little) and Nastia (little) has been arrested including two of our girls but we currently don't know which girls.
All material in the private appartement of the Studio 13 owner has been saised and the same tragedy at the photo studio. No any prooves or charges has been issued until now and the Studio 13 webmaster, what a big chance, was just crossing the borders and leaving the country at this time.It seems, that some extremely corrupt police authorities have observed our moves now already over one year and they expected to make the very big money with Studio 13. The police will now have hard times. Studio 13 has contacted tonight the concerned embassies (because webmaster and girls including families and relatives of the girls are foreigners). Also different persons have been contacted including lawyers and peoples with a certain power and some good connections." -Daniel Leuenberger, in the last email from Studio 13 before the legal issues
According to one of the versions, there was information leaks due to the militia sergeantâs sloppiness. The girls who were detained were escorted to a hotel by the police. However, the police sergeant assigned to watch them did not keep track of them well, and one of the girls was able to call someone and warn them. Leuenberger later confirmed that he know of the raid in advance, and it is likely that Fradis, through his contacts in the milita, also knew of the raid well in advance.
On February 3rd both Fradis' and Leuenberger's studios were raided, and all computer equipment was seized. The operating officers were not sanctioned to detain the suspects since there was no enough substantial evidence at that moment for initiating criminal proceedings. Thus they had to search urgently for the landlord of the house situated on Bezymyanny lane in order to get inside. Reportedly there were no occupants at the time of the raid, and main equipment was gone. Daniel confirmed later that both he and Fradis were aware that the models and escorts were detained at the rail station, and that legal enforcement officers were shadowing them before the raid. Both Eternal Aphrodites and Eternal Nymphets websites went down starting in the February of 2002, and were likely seized by the Ukrainian authorities.
Fradis left the country shortly before the raid and had moved to Moldova, Germany, and the United States of America. He was alleged to have had sexual intercourse with several of the models and offered them to use drug substances (rumored to have been Ira (Sunshine) and Irina Gladcova). There was a criminal case initiated against him (in Germany or Ukraine) for seduction of minors as well as for pornography distribution, and he was searched by Munich police.
The authorities were able to contact Leuenberger by telephone, and he agreed to cooperate with inquiry. By April 10th the Ukrainian government had instituted criminal proceedings against Daniel and Alexander Fradis (Article 301 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, namely as âentry, making, sale and distribution of porno production). After this what happened in the case is not currently known, but the charges were dropped against Leuenberger on February 19th 2003 due to the wording of the laws at the time, which were very permissive. The Criminal Code of Ukraine did not contain any provisions providing criminal liability for child pornography production. It was also noted that appropriate investigative activities were not conducted, and that "it mainly consists of explanatory memorandums". It also failed because multiple government agencies were involved but not cooperating with each other, which dead-locked any investigation.
After this what happened in the case is not known, but the charges were dropped against Leuenberger on February 19th 2003. By a quote from him
"We are happy to announce that this lawsuit has come to a close on February 19th 2003. It ended in a total triumph for the Studio 13 Arts members who were cleared of all charges. Instead some officers from the authorities got serious troubles for forging evidence and pressuring witnesses including physical injuries. This was a high profile case with reports in many eastern European medias like newspapers and television." -Daniel Leuenberger
Aftermath and Dissolution
In 2002, Daniel Leuenberger reopened the Eternal Nymphets website sometime in late 2002, but exclusively did tasteful non-nude photography of the models from that point to avoid further legal troubles. He continued to update the site with pictures of the same models until 2004, and the website still had the Studio 13 Arts company logo. None of the Eternal Nymphets pictures before 2003 had watermarks or logos. In 2004, Daniel created the company Inoworks SRL for his new Swiss Arts studio, and transferred the new Eternal Nymphets from Studio 13 to Inoworks SRL. He then closed the Studio 13 Arts company.
Alexander Fradis did not use Studio 13 Arts brand after 2002. It is unknown if he had ever officially registered the company, or just used the branding. As the date of most of his works are unknown due to missing EXIF data, it is unknown when he stopped using Studio 13 Arts for his works.