US Citizen Arrested for Sexual Conduct with Minor in Foreign Place

August 1, 2019, 1:53 PM HST (Updated August 1, 2019, 1:57 PM)
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George Alexis Theros, 76, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, in violation of 18 United States Code § 2423(c). He made an initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Kenji M. Price, US Attorney for the District of Hawai‘i, announced that the criminal complaint charges Theros with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl on a boat in Panama. The complaint alleges that witnesses in Panama reported acts of sexual conduct Theros committed on the girl, whom he had claimed was his daughter, according to a press release.

Witnesses in Thailand reported that, years ago, Theros paid the girl’s family in Thailand in order to “adopt” her when she was nine or 10 years old. The witnesses also reported that the girl then proceeded to live with Theros in his home in Thailand, the release continued.

According to the criminal complaint, in the spring of 2019, Theros traveled with the girl from Thailand to Panama and planned to transport her to Hawai‘i on a boat. When witnesses on the boat realized Theros was sexually abusing the girl, they reported his conduct to law enforcement in Panama. Theros abruptly fled back to Thailand, leaving the girl behind in Panama. He traveled to Hawai‘i last week, and was arrested on July 30, 2019.

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Combatting the exploitation of children is a significant enforcement priority for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawai‘i (USAO), as well as federal law enforcement agency components in Hawai‘i, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the release continued. This prosecution is one of many brought by the USAO in the last 15 months to hold those who sexually exploit minors accountable.

Last May, the USAO brought federal charges against Defendant Dustin Miyakawa for coercion and enticement of a minor, sex trafficking of children and sexual exploitation of a child. Miyakawa pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor and is facing a minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment when he is sentenced in October, the release stated.

Since last May, the USAO brought significant charges against 12 additional defendants—which includes Theros—for exploiting children. Eight of these defendants are charged with attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual acts and some of the eight are charged with other offenses. If convicted of attempted enticement, the defendants face a mandatory minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment.

Three of the 12 defendants are charged with child pornography offenses. Two of them—Daniel Lyles and Justin Furr—pleaded guilty. At sentencing, both face a mandatory minimum term of five years of imprisonment.

“These prosecutions demonstrate the federal law enforcement community’s commitment to protecting one of Hawai‘i’s most precious assets—the boys and girls who hold its future in their hands,” US Attorney Price said. “Our message as a law enforcement community is simple: If your goal is to sexually exploit children, we’ll do everything in our power as a federal law enforcement community to find a home for you in federal prison.”

The Theros prosecution was jointly investigated by HSI in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, and Panama City, Panama, the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Overseas Criminal Investigations Division with assistance from the DSS Honolulu Resident Office, and local law enforcement in Panama and Thailand. It is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Morgan Early.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and a defendant charged by complaint or indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted of the charge in the complaint, Theros faces up to 30 years in prison. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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