Two convicted and three cleared of Human Trafficking crimes in Chuuk

Weno, Chuuk—On October 6, the FSM Supreme Court in Chuuk ruled that Cortez Benedicto and Rieta Eram were guilty of crimes related to human trafficking. It was the FSM’s first successful human trafficking conviction.
The charges had asserted that Tataichy Punan had participated in the crimes but he has been found to be not guilty.
During the same week the court found Hercules Jonatan Siega and Johnone Manaky to be not guilty of human trafficking crimes related to another alleged young victim.
Benedicto was convicted of Human Trafficking for taking a fourteen-year old girl to his GPPC construction campsite in 2015, where he engaged in various forms of sexual conduct with the young girl with the knowledge of Rieta Eram. The court ruled that the Benedicto made payments of money and other material benefits to Rieta Eram. Benedicto faces up to 15 years in prison and or a fine of up to $25,000 for that crime.
He was also convicted of the crime of Trafficking in Children for the same activities. He faces up to 30 years or a fine of $50,000 for that crime.
Rieta Eram was also convicted of Human Trafficking for allowing her fourteen-year old sponsor girl to sleep with and have repeated sexual intercourse with Benedicto in exchange for cash and other material benefits. She faces up to 15 years in prison and or a fine of up to $25,000. She was also convicted of Trafficking in Children which carries a penalty of up to 30 years or a fine of $50,000.
The court will hold a telephonic sentencing hearing at 2:00 on October 27.
Tataichy Punan was cleared of all charges.


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