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Man to face sex abuse charges after 25 years

Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Criminal

A South African man flew to Oregon in the US to face multiple sex-abuse charges that were lodged against him a quarter-century ago, the FBI said. The FBI, which ran a social-media campaign in SA to bring attention to the case, said it arranged for Clackamas County sheriff's deputies to meet the plane carrying the 43-year-old accused, who had agreed to return to the US to face the charges. The man was 18 when he was charged in 1993 with sexually molesting five girls between the ages of 10 and 15. He fled before trial. Prosecutor Lewis Burkhart said there has been no plea agreement with him. Burkhart acknowledged there could be challenges in prosecuting a case after 25 years, notes an AP report on the News24 site. 'The passage of time creates issues with people's memory, things like that,' said Burkhart, Deputy District Attorney for Clackamas County. The accused also faces charges in nearby Washington County. The FBI months ago began targeting SA media using Facebook to display wanted posters that showed an age-adjusted image of the suspect and offering a reward of up to $10 000. The accused's US attorney, Jason Short, has asked prosecutors to present names of witnesses, their recorded statements, statements the defendant made to authorities, and objects the state intends to present as evidence, according to a court document. The accused is a South African citizen who came to the US as a child and obtained legal permanent resident status in 1989, the FBI said. He was released on his own recognisance after being charged. When he failed to appear, a warrant was issued for his arrest without opportunity for bail on 4 October 1993.

Full News24 report