Four church officials in Patta face 30 years in prison for trafficking in children

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

June 11, 2018

FSM—Four men, officers of a church in Patta, Chuuk have been convicted of one charge each of Trafficking in Children after each of them had sex with a young girl of 14 or 15 at the time of their crimes.

Onsori Sino, Kachura Angken, Taisiro Loves, and Lucky Shiro each face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and or a fine of not less than $5000 but not more than $50,000.  However, a Supreme Court Associate Justice previously handed down significantly lighter sentences to two people convicted of human trafficking crimes in Chuuk.

The convicted felons are due to be sentenced by the FSM Supreme Court on August 8 at 9:30 in the morning at the FSM Supreme Court in Chuuk.  The sentencing hearing is open to the public.

Chief Justice Dennis Yamase is presiding in this case. 

Prosecutors proved to the court that the young victim’s claim that in September of 2015 Sino had sex with her in exchange for marijuana were true.  The criminal information on the case said that on that day, the victim had been sent by her mother to buy disposable diapers.  Shiro followed the victim and urged the victim to allow Shiro’s daughter to buy the diapers for her so that she could go to his house with him.  After the act, witnesses saw the two leaving Shiro’s house.

Kachura Angken was convicted based on evidence presented by the prosecutors along with the victim’s testimony that in October 2015 he solicited a minor to have sex with him in his taro patch for the sum of $15.

Tasiro Loves was convicted on testimony of the victim, other evidence place before the Court, and arguments of counsel.  In 2015, lured the victim to a home belonging to another person on Patta and induced the minor to have sexual intercourse with him for $2.00.

Lucky Shiro was convicted of having had sex with the victim for a promised sum of two dollars that he apparently didn’t have the cash to pay after the act was completed.

Each of the defendants was accused of multiple counts of the crime of Trafficking in Children for sex acts they allegedly committed in separate acts for tiny sums of money.  The Court found them guilty of only one count each.

The government had contended that the defendants had shared with each other the vulnerability of the victim and that each then acted on his own to exploit it. The Court did not find that the prosecution had presented enough evidence to prove a charge of conspiracy to commit trafficking against children. 

Sentencing will be on August 8, 2018 at 9:30 in the morning.