Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2 Pinoy sex tourism victims to get US restitution funds

At least two Filipino "sex tourism" victims, both minors, will benefit from restitution trust funds executed and implemented in the US.

Filipino social welfare authorities and a US-based trustee signed the trust documents to execute and implement the restitution trust funds, the US Department of Justice said.

"This is believed to be the first case in which restitution trusts have been set up for the benefit of foreign victims of sex tourism. The trusts are being initially funded with proceeds from the sale of property (Donald) Mathias transferred to the custody of the United States as part of his plea agreement," the US Department of Justice said in a statement on its website dated December 10.

Mathias, 64, was sentenced on March 3, 2010, to 20 years in prison for engaging in sex tourism in the Philippines. He was also ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to his victims.

"The proceeds of the sales are currently deposited with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and will now be transferred to an account set up by the trustee, for the benefits of the victims," the statement added

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida announced the execution and implementation of the restitution trust funds.

The trusts stemmed from an order of restitution against Mathias of Davie, Florida, in the criminal case against him.

Mathias pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Court in Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 22, 2009, to four counts of traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct. He was indicted on those charges on Oct. 27, 2009.

"As part of his plea agreement, Mathias admitted that from 2005 until December 2008, he communicated and arranged with the mother of two minor females to travel to the Philippines, where they were located, and engaged in sexual conduct with the minors. During this time, Mathias and the mother exchanged hundreds of e-mails regarding sexual activity between Mathias and the minors," the US DOJ said.

Mathias also admitted he traveled to the Philippines in April 2007 and again in December 2007, engaged in sexual conduct with the minors on those trips and recorded those acts with a video camera. He also admitted that he made the minors sign a contract in December 2007, requiring the minors to be his sex slaves.

Court documents, money transfer and email records showed Mathias sent thousands of dollars to the mother between 2005 and December 2008.

Philippine law enforcement agencies arrested Mathias in December 2008 and sent him back to the US. On Oct. 14, 2009, Mathias was arrested by U.S. law enforcement officers in Miami. 

The mother of the minors is in custody in the Philippines and is being prosecuted by Filipino authorities.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security agents in Miami and Manila, Philippines, with assistance from the Philippine Department of Justice. - JA/KBK, GMANews.TV

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