Urgent Action
STOP the sexual exploitation of children!
Americans arrested

May 4, 1998  

"The arrest of this man is one more example of what is becoming all too common here in Costa Rica, and in Central America in general"

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica : The arrest of yet another American sex tourist this past Friday in San José is just one more indication of Central America's new fame as a sex tourism destination, according to children's rights advocates.

Mr K, a retired US military engineer from the Gulf war, was arrested on Friday, May 1st, 1998 by Costa Rican police, accused of the sexual abuse of a 14 year old boy. According to neighbors, the American, who has been living in the San Fransisco de Dos Rios middle class suburb of the country's capital, would continually take street children to his home where he lived alone, reportedly to first feed them and then to commit sexual abuse. Many of the children were between the ages of six and twelve.

As in previous weeks, a child's screams of pain were heard from Mr K's home on late Friday and the already concerned neighbors called the police. The American retiree was arrested. The police apparently also confiscated two large bags of pornographic material, including video tapes of very young children performing sexual acts. The former military man is being held in the San Sebastian jail awaiting arraignment.

-For months now we have been trying to draw the attention of the region's governments to the growing levels of sex tourism and sexual exploitation of children in Central America, but almost without exception, the issue is falling on deaf ears, explained Bruce Harris, the Executive Director for Latin American Programs of the child advocacy agency Casa Alianza, the Latin American branch of the New York based Covenant House.
-The arrest of Mr K is one more example of what is becoming all too common here in Costa Rica and in Central America in general.

Last week in Palm Beach, Florida, a 47 years old American, Mr B, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of Honduran boys during visits to that country together with an also detained man, 58 years old, Mr H.
Both men were arrested last year in Florida and have been in jail since. With Mr B. plea bargain, the paedophile has agreed to become the prosecution's witness in the case against Mr H, which comes to trial on May 11th. Mr H is charged with trafficking a 15 year old Honduran boy from the town of La Ceiba to the United States where he was continually sexually abused by the accused.

La Ceiba, a port town on the northern coast of Honduras, is well known as a center for child prostitution and a common location for paedophiles.

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