Friday 22 March 2013

CHILD  MOLESTERS  who  travel  to abuse  their  victims

Often child molesters in more Westernized countries leave their own countries so that they can hunt down child victims easier than they can in their own communities. That is because often those children in less developed countries come from poor families or alternatively, they are homeless. There is also less risk of the molesters being caught if they commit these crimes in a country that has less stringent laws against child molesting and has corrupt police forces. Also there is less chance of being seen again by their victims in those countries than if they molested children in their own communities.

 Child sex tourism is not new. For far too many years, pedophiles seeking to avoid severe punishment in the United States and other Westernized countries have taken trips to countries where prostituted children are plentiful.

 For example, a growing number of Canadian tourists, generally almost always older men, are flying to Cuba for one thing—sex. But far more disturbing is that some of them are looking for sex with children. Cuba is in the top four child sex destinations for Canadians in the Americas. The others are Mexico, Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

Although Canada has a national sex offender registry, it is currently doing next to nothing to stop pedophiles listed in the registry from travelling to poor countries where they commit horrendous sexual acts with children as young as five, six and seven. Alas, a growing number of these child- molesting tourists are heading to Cuba for sex with underage children.

Recently, the Toronto police arrested a 78-year-old man (James McTurk) after he returned from Cuba with really disturbing photographs of him allegedly engaging in sex acts with children. He was charged with nine pedophile-tourism offences including making child pornography and sexual interference.

While Canada has a law that was passed in 1997 that treats a sex crime committed abroad as if it happened in Canada, the arrests and convictions for Canadian pedophile-tourists targeting children are rare and for the most part, these child molesters have been getting away with it.

An example of this failing in our laws is particularly disturbing with respect to this particular case involving McTurk. He had pleaded guilty in 1995 to possession of child pornography, and again in 1998 after police found videotapes of him allegedly engaging in sex acts with young girls. According to police, all images were shot in Cuba.

In the first case, he was given a conditional discharge and put on probation for 18 months. The second time, McTurk was sentenced to another 18-month conditional sentence and 18 months on probation. This is one of the reasons why sex fiends like him are not deterred from continuing to do these crimes. I blame the soft-headed judge that merely slapped the wrist of this particular sex offender because it didn’t work as a deterrent.

An employee at a supermarket photo lab recently called police when he saw photos that had been brought in to be processed by McTurk. He was arrested again (his third) and during their investigation, the Toronto police learned that McTurk, who is on the National Sex Offender Registry, had traveled to Cuba 31 times between 2008 and 2012. Imagine if you will how many under-age children he may have molested during those 31 visits.

Unfortunately, a great deal of the police authorities in many of the countries where Canadian pedophiles travel are either uninterested, are under resourced or in some cases they’re simply corrupt.

It is up to Canadians and others in other countries to be able to catch these child molesters doing this abroad and this has proven to be very difficult to bring about without the necessary support of the countries where these crimes are committed.

“The allegation is that there’s photographs of young children and in those photographs were included the accused as well,” said Det. Sgt. Kim Gross, who heads the Toronto Police Child Exploitation Section. “There’s a helplessness of the faces of these children that is very striking.” This makes me believe that the children are coerced by handlers that are either their parents or pimps that have seized the children.

However, McTurk could have come to the attention of police in Canada much earlier if the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) had had access to the Sex Offender Registry.

It doesn’t because the RCMP, (the federal police force which is not a police force that Canadians should be really proud of) which administers the registry, does not consider the CBSA to be a police force. Yet the CBSA is responsible for controlling who comes in and out of Canada.

Obviously, the police forces in Canada should link their systems with CBSA. So, for example, what’s going on with CBSA and the passport should be linked with what’s going with the sex offender registries, both provincial and federal.

confidential RCMP document that was obtained by the Toronto Star under an access-to-information request reveals the scope of the problem. The report estimates that there are two million children worldwide who are victims of the illicit sex industry. According to the RCMP, the most common occupations for offenders include teachers, clergy.  

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Canada, Steven Harper (there is another dimwit) boasts that his government is actually cracking down on crime and he insists that big changes are coming that will close the gaping loopholes in the system that allows pedophiles to slip through. His statement is not unlike the captain of the Titanic saying he has plans to close the gaping holes in the side of his ship that is allowing the water to slip through. We all know what happed to the captain and his ship.

Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews said in a telephone interview with the Toronto Star: “Given the close communication individuals involved with this activity have around the globe, Canada has a greater responsibility to engage in stemming the problem.” He is right on that point.

Conservative backbencher, MP Joy Smith, who has been fighting for tougher laws against sex offenders since she was first elected to Parliament in 2004, told Victor Malarek of the W5 television program that “as we speak, our government is putting in the cross border, the entry and the exit border with all the checks and balances. You’ll hear about it very, very soon.”  Which will surface first, the Titanic or her concept of checks and balances? I will put my money on the Titanic.

In March of this year in the city of Montreal, Canada, an 82-year-old Quebecer was facing sex charges involving the alleged abuse of two girls under the age of 14 in the Dominican Republic. The court ordered that he is to remain behind bars while waiting for his trial.

Joseph-Charles-Philippe Cote was arrested in the island nation and formally charged in Montreal. The seven charges include importation, possession and production of juvenile pornography, invitation to sexual contact and having sexual contact with minors. The charges stem from events alleged to have taken place between 2003 and October, 2012. That's when Cote was originally placed under investigation after he was initially flagged during a search by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“We intercepted this individual last October (when) he came back from a trip from the Dominican Republic,” said agency spokesman Dominique McNeely. “He arrived (back in Canada) on October 17th and we screened his laptop.”

McNeely said that when agents found pictures, they transferred the case to provincial police who executed a search warrant and allegedly found hundreds of pictures of children on a computer.

A local report in the Dominican Republic said Cote was nabbed in the resort town of Sosua, in the Puerto Plata region of the country.

The Montreal Police said that the Montreal resident travelled frequently to the Dominican Republic and allege the primary reason was to sexually exploit children.

Benmouyal of the Montreal Police said about Cote’s offences; “They are acts that have principally been committed in the Dominican Republic.

Crown prosecutor Rachelle Pitre said that even if the allegations stem from the Dominican, a provision in the Criminal Code allows for people charged with sexual offences against children to be tried here in Canada.

Various international agencies have highlighted rampant child-sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic.

"Child-sex tourism is a problem, particularly in coastal resort areas of the Dominican Republic, with child-sex tourists arriving year-round from the United States and European countries," said a U.S. State Department report from last year.

Child molesters in the UK who have been banned from working with children in the UK appear to work freely as teachers abroad as many schools and organisations overseas don't have access to criminal record checks in the countries these child molesters come from.

A new police system for UK nationals who are working or volunteering abroad will help identify those who have previous convictions which mean they should be banned from working with children, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) agency said.

The international child protection certificate (ICPC) will be a worldwide safeguard for employers and voluntary organisations, the agency's chief executive Peter Davies said.

Fourteen of the 75 travelling UK sex offenders investigated by CEOP in 2011 were associated with roles that involved access to children. More than 1,000 investigations have been carried out into suspected or convicted sex offenders working abroad since 2006, with between 7 per cent and 19 per cent each year ending up in positions that gave access to children.

“There is clear evidence to suggest that serious sex offenders who are known to authorities in the UK will often seek out opportunities to work or volunteer abroad,” Mr. Davies said.

Obviously there are many instances where traveling child molesters will get jobs in teaching roles and get other occupations such as being a charity worker, an orphanage worker or as a children's home worker.

The new system comes after cases such as that of child sex offender Andrew Eden, who fled to Mexico and taught English in schools after being released from prison in the UK.

Eden, previously called Littleborough in the UK, a child molester called Rochdale, was jailed for four years in 2001 when he was convicted of molesting a seven-year-old girl and was put on licence (probation) for an additional three years. But when he was released from custody in 2003 he failed to notify the authorities of his whereabouts and faced being recalled to jail, so he fled to Mexico instead where he worked in schools in that country.

Rochdale’s details were placed on CEOP's Most Wanted website and he was extradited back to the UK in 2009 after being spotted by a member of the public in September 2008.

There was an international manhunt of an accused pedophile who was eventually caught in Thailand. Christopher Neil was arrested in Nakhon Ratchasima just over a week after he had arrived there and charged with child sexual abuse. He is also wanted in South Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam for similar charges. He was also a teacher. That means that he knew how to relate to children.

However, since the 'John Mark Karr' incident, things have been changing for the better. Nowadays, if a child molester applies for a teaching job anywhere in Thailand, he has to have a certified police background check either from a Thai police station or from a police force in his own country of origin. To be especially careful, some schools will only accept police reports from the country of origin of a teacher. This has proven useful in some instances as some of these child molesters are wanted by law enforcement in their own countries. The last thing these child molesters want to do is to have to apply for a police report from their own countries which will then disclose to the police where the child molesters are living. For this reason,  they don’t even apply for a license to teach in Thailand.

The Thai Department of Education has begun clamping down on fake college degrees. Before the Jon Mark Karr incident, it used to be that the child molesters could go to Khao San Road in Bangkok and buy a fake college degree for around $6. The Department of Education didn't check the degree when they submitted it with their work permit application, so they were immediately eligible for teaching jobs in Thailand.

Many Westerners who lived in Thailand illegally did a visa run to Cambodia once a month. From Bangkok, the visa run there and back only takes about 6 hours and, once back in Thailand; they were given another 30 day stay in the country. The Thailand visa laws have now changed so a Westerner without a regular visa is only allowed to do three 30-day visa runs, before they are forced to leave the country and get a regular visa for Thailand. What this has done is to dissuade some pedophiles from travelling to Thailand, as they do not want to have to go to a Thai embassy overseas for a visa, in case their name comes up on a list of wanted pedophiles and the Thai authorities then informs Interpol or the country of the molester’s origin.

Because of the initiative of the Thai government and police, the days of free passes for Western pedophiles in Thailand are coming to a close. Now, if they are really thinking Thailand is the place to find an 8 year old child to molest, they should think again. The Thai police have other ideas. One such child molester was caught and sentenced to three years in a Thai prison.

When I was speaking at a UN crime conference in Bangkok in 2005, I was invited to visit one of their prisons. Believe me. It’s not a place anyone would want to serve time in. The cells a child molester would in is shared by 39 other men and they all have to take turns using the one toilet in the cell. And trying to sleep when everyone else is sleeping on the floor is difficult to say the least especially when the humidity in Bangkok is suffocating all year round and there is no air-conditioning and there is only one window that brings in the air. Spending time in a Thai prison should deter these molesters permanently.

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission that is an international  crime fighting organization which allows organisations who work directly with children abroad to access the criminal conviction history of those who have lived in the UK, will take about 10 days to process applications and help tackle cases such as this, CEOP said.

Jon Brown, the head of strategy and development for sexual abuse for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, added that it was a positive step towards preventing known sex offenders in the UK from being able to work with children overseas.

Just how many children are prostituted in Asia? There is no absolute way to know for sure however estimates have shown that there are approximately as many as 60,000 children in the Philippines, 200,000 in Thailand and brace yourself for it—two million worldwide being sexually molested by adults. Now you can see why the child molesters from Westernized countries are so willing to plow the fields, rhetorically speaking, in those countries for their young victims.

Not all these children are prostituting themselves. In 1984, five young girls who had been imprisoned in a Thai brothel were burned to death in a fire. Later it was revealed why they never had a chance: they had been chained to their beds.

Child molestation will never be eradicated but with the continued persistence of governments around the world stopping this kind of tourism, it is conceivable that child molestation tourists will avoid going to those countries in which so many of their children are vulnerable to being victimized by these child molesters. 

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