Two Chuukese parents convicted for sexually exploiting their young daughter

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

March 13, 2019

AbusersChuuk, FSM—Today the FSM Supreme Court in Chuuk sentenced Jayson Jappan and Anreta Fret to 92 months and eight months’ probation in prison for charges related to Human Trafficking.  The Court also ruled for the convicted felons to pay their victim who is now 15 years old, $40,000 each in restitution.

Last month the two were convicted of Human Trafficking, Trafficking in Children, Aggravated Human Trafficking and Conspiracy.  The crimes began when the victim was only nine years old.  The convicted couple is the victim’s mother and step-father.  The exploited little girl was living with her parents on the island of Fananu, part of Nomwin Atoll in Chuuk’s Hall Islands region.

The trial revealed that the couple had a pregnancy pact in which the young victim would have a baby for them since the mother could no longer bear children.  After the victim became pregnant from her step-father the parents became alarmed at the possibility of discovery and forced the girl, who was by then a young teenager, to take a variety of drugs in an attempt to abort the baby.  In addition to the ongoing abuse and exploitation, that act has caused permanent damage to the victim and to the victim’s infant.

The couple failed to return after a recess in the court proceedings.  The Department of Justice issued “wanted” posters for the two and recaptured them a day and a half later. The trial proceeded after their return.

During sentencing, Associate Justice Larry Wentworth convicted the Defendants of all charges except Human Trafficking, as the Court held that Human Trafficking and Aggravated Human Trafficking merged into one conviction. 

According to a press release by the FSM Public Information office (FSMPIO), The FSM Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to incarcerate Defendant Fret in Pohnpei, while Defendant Jappan will be incarcerated in Chuuk. The FSM DOJ will later move both Defendants to its prison facility in Kosrae.

“The Department’s Litigation Division considers this sentence a progressive step in the fight against Human Trafficking in the FSM. The combined $80,000 in restitution imposed by the Court on the two Defendants is one of the largest in FSM history,” a DOJ spokesperson told the FSMPIO.

The Chuuk State Department of Public Safety initially referred the case to the FSM Anti-Human Trafficking Division, which was then investigated by the FSM National Police. Assistant Attorney General Abigail Avoryie, Director of the FSM Anti-Human Trafficking Division, Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Buckner, Director of the Criminal Justice Section, and Assistant Attorney General Mohammed Kutty prosecuted the case on behalf of the FSM.