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Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network.
To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 206-1942.

Posted On: January 29, 2013

FEDERAL AUTHORITIES PROSECUTE SEX CRIMES INVOLVING CHILDREN OVERSEAS

Yesterday, Attorney Sam's Take began discussing the plight of a certain Mr. Galant (hereinafter the "Defendant") in connection with certain federal criminal allegations which allegedly took place in the Dominican republic. They involved various sex crimes involving children.

Over the last years, we have discussed many federal cases and how they usually built. If you take the international aspect of this matter out of it, this case seems to be a typical federal prosecution. Not that the Commonwealth never uses such tactics, but the federal prosecutors have built it to an art form.

Just tell me you haven't heard this one before...

Suspect A comes into contact with law-enforcement. Suspect A is in possession of stolen materials. Suspect A is in trouble. However, suspect A says that she knows about suspect D, and suspect D has committed even greater crimes. And, by the way, suspect A is a critical witness against suspect D.

Isn't that what happened in this case? The 14-year-old young lady (Hereinafter the "Girl") Was found in possession of the Defendant's credit card and withdrawing money from his account. She then explained how he had apparently broken their agreements and had illicit sexual relations with her and a couple of friends.

"But Sam, are you saying that the only evidence against the defendant is what the complainant said happened?"

No. Apparently, photographs were seized which reflected the Girll in positions which made the photographs child pornography. Further, I would imagine that federal investigators were able to find other evidence which supported the Girl's claims. An example of this would be airline tickets that the Defendant used on his trips to the Dominican Republic. .

However, the start of this information leads back to the Girl. Further, without her testimony, these prosecutions cannot be made successfully.

"I was under the impression that the case is only prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which it happens. In other words, Massachusetts would not prosecute a case where the fax took place in California. Here, it seems like the United States is prosecuting a case where the facts occurred, or allegedly occurred, in the Dominican Republic. What gives?"

You are correct, generally. As with most things, there is no "always" or "never" in the criminal justice system. There are exceptions. There are certain areas in which the United States will prosecute someone for actions they allegedly took in another country. Many of these types of cases also are subject to treaties between countries. The sex trade, when it involves children, is one such area. Further, some of the allegations I said to have taken place in the United States.

I should point out however, this would not be the first time that a United States citizen was prosecuted for apps he allegedly did overseas. In fact, it was not so long ago, where someone was tried and convicted of very similar crimes, only, in that case, involving little boys.

I have often told you that, because of computers and the Internet, the United States has become smaller in terms of the sharing of information. One state can easily share information with another state these days. Law enforcement is generally on top of those developments. As time goes by, particularly when it comes to crimes which are getting a lot of attention, I believe you will see that the world becomes a smaller place for the same reason.

Of course, all criminal prosecutions have their issues and weaknesses. In cases like this, there are even more such issues. There are issues of reality, such as getting the Girl, and perhaps her friends, to come to the United States to testify. The more complicated the case, the more there I'll likely to be issues which should be examined by defense counsel.

And they will be. Assuming that defense counsel is aware to look for them.

That's where your choice of an experienced criminal defense attorney comes into play.

But then, I am now being repetitive. And if you don't know my message on that subject by now, you're just not reading.