Skip to comments.American Man Charged with Exploiting Children in Laos
Posted on 07/09/2020 3:48:59 PM PDT by ransomnote
An American citizen was arrested and charged yesterday in connection with exploiting teenage boys in Laos.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling for the District of Massachusetts and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Division made the announcement.
Michael Sebastian, 52, was charged by criminal complaint with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and sex trafficking of children. Sebastian was arrested yesterday in Lynn, Massachusetts, where he has been living with his mother. Following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston today, Sebastian was detained pending a detention and probable cause hearing scheduled for July 13, 2020.
According to the charging documents, Sebastian has been living in Laos, where he teaches English to Laotian youth. During at least the past two years, Sebastian provided housing to at least three boys, aged 13 through 18, to whom he taught English. In lieu of paying rent to live with him, Sebastian allegedly allowed the boys to pay off their rent by performing chores. According to allegations in the complaint, these chores included giving Sebastian massages – which, in turn, included masturbating Sebastian.
The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Trial Attorney Leslie Fisher with the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti for the District of Massachusetts are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Hopefully all his jail time will be in a Laotian prison.
Not that I have a problem locking this monster up for the rest of his life, but how can the United States prosecute this man for crimes that occurred in another sovereign nation?
I dont see that they have the constitutional power to bring this man to trial.
They just gave them selves the power.
Like they do in many other cases.
The constitution means little any more.
“how can the United States prosecute this man for crimes that occurred in another sovereign nation?”
My question exactly. This should be handled by the Laotians.
They passed a law a few years ago, that makes it illegal for American to have sex with anyone under 18 anywhere in the world. No matter what the local law says. Basically, if youre an American, do US government claims jurisdiction worldwide for any act you perform, no matter what local law says.
They also have a similar law that all Americans, here at home, must observe all foreign laws regarding the environment. Thats why they raided the Gibson guitar company. They legally purchased some legally harvested wood from Madagascar, but someone somewhere believed it may have been harvested illegally in violation of Madagascar law. They sent a swat team armed to the teeth to a guitar company.
But keep pretending we dont have an authoritarian oligarchy
I dont see why they didnt just notify Laotian authorities, and turn him over to the local government. He deserves, Laotian prison for being a homo rapist in a place where people are that broke and desperate.
I’ve long wondered the same. He should be charged in Laos and extradited from here.
Did US citizens have to limit themselves to 55mph on the German Autobahn pre 1987? I joke, somewhat.
They can pass a law making me Emperor Zod but they dont have the constitutional authority to do so.
This is the act of an empire not a constitutional republic.
If they have knowledge that a US citizen committed a crime in a foreign jurisdiction, they should inform that foreign state of the crime and supply whatever evidence they have.
The US should then agree to extradite that US citizen in to the custody of that foreign state.
He’s an American citizen. I don’t see any Constitutional problem with prosecuting him. This law was passed because too many Americans travel overseas to traffic people or have sex with children. They typically go someplace that is corrupt or has weak local law enforcement.
I blame John Updike!
Therefore, your "empire" argument is invalid.
I am willing to be schooled on the constitution any time. If you want to point out where the constitution grants the Federal Government to enforce its laws in foreign lands, I will gladly read it.
Its a problem with jurisdiction. The US does not have jurisdiction in Loas to investigate or prosecute crimes.
There is a problem with Sixth Amendment rights.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law
By his rights under the Sixth Amendment his trial should be in the State of Loas. But there is no US State of Loas.
The US can only hold trials in the US. Is the government going to transport his accusers to the US from Loas?
What about witnesses for the defense? Is the government going to bring then here or will he have to pay for his defense witnesses transportation and lodgings?
Will he be denied his rights because he cant afford to bring his witnesses to the trial? He has the right to confront the witnesses against him but they are in Loas.
There are all kinds of problems with this and the solutions are very expensive and the main problem is jurisdiction which I see as insurmountable.
“If you want to point out where the constitution grants the Federal Government to enforce its laws in foreign lands, I will gladly read it.”
This prosecution is a symptom of a larger problem, which is that we are ignoring our constitution.
“This is the act of an empire not a constitutional republic.”
Very well said. Thanks!
EOs dont trump the constitution.
If EOs can short circuit the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments we have lost our freedom and the Republic is dead.
We have treaties with these nations in which human trafficking is a contingent on doing business with. Last time I looked, treaties were part of the Constitutional process.
Yes, they are.
I doubt that the founding fathers ever considered that the treaty process would ever be used to dispose of the right to a fair trial. Certainly the founders warned against entangling treaties.
Considering that this EO was signed by BO, who had great disdain for our Constitution of Negative rights, I do not doubt your contention that the treaty gave the Executive powers to try US citizens for crimes committed overseas.
I did scan a few EOs that involved sex trafficking and could not discover which EO you are referring to.
If you have an idea which EO set up this abusive practice, please let me know. I would love to read it.
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