American Wanted on Child Pornography Charge Arrested in the Philippines

Jeoffrey Maitem
Cotabato, Philippines
190319-PH-suspect-620.jpg American Joel Aquino Pasay, seen in this photo released March 19, 2019, is in custody after hiding in the Philippines for nearly two years.
Courtesy Philippine Bureau of Immigration

Federal agents from the United States backed by Philippine immigration officers captured a 56-year-old American wanted on a child pornography charge over the weekend, authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect, Joel Aquino Pasay, who had been in hiding for nearly two years north of Manila, did not resist arrest when members of U.S. Homeland Security and local authorities raided his hideout in Angeles City on Saturday, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration said.

The agency said Pasay is wanted by U.S. authorities in Nevada for receipt of child pornography. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the U.S. district court there.

Under U.S. law, a person found guilty of knowingly distributing or receiving any material that contains images or videos of child pornography may be sentenced to a minimum of five years to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

“This is very serious offense, and his stay here poses a risk to our people. He is an undesirable alien who should be deported immediately,” immigration commissioner Jaime Morente said. “U.S. federal laws make it a separate crime for receiving child pornography.”

In May 2018, American national Antonio Fouad Bounab was arrested at an airport in Manila on a child pornography charge as well. He allegedly contacted Filipino minors through a social media site.

Three months later, a court in the south sentenced Australian Peter Gerard Scully, 55, and Filipina partner, Carmen Ann Alvarez, to life in prison for operating a cybersex business that targeted Filipino children.

Scully and Alvarez were caught in 2014 in a police raid at their apartment near Cagayan de Oro in the south. Two girls, ages 9 and 11, whom the couple had sexually abused, had escaped and told police about them.

In December 2018, American priest Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, 78, was arrested in the central Philippines for allegedly sexually molesting dozens of altar boys in the central town of Naval. He is to be deported soon, according to officials.


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