News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Feb. 7, 2018: A 40-year-old Stuarts Draft, Virginia missionary has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in Haiti.
James Daniel Arbaugh pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Tuesday to traveling from the United States to Haiti and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
Arbaugh admitted to one count of traveling in foreign commerce from the United States to Haiti in or about 2016 to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18.
According to facts admitted by the defendant during the guilty plea, Arbaugh has lived in Haiti for approximately 15 years and has traveled regularly back to the United States during that time. The defendant admitted that in 2016, while in Haiti, he engaged in illicit sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12 by touching the minor’s genitals under the minor’s clothing. Prosecutors say the victim is a roughly 5-year-old boy.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
According to a criminal complaint filed in district court, “Arbaugh acknowledged that he groomed the minors in Haiti by engaging in minor sexual activities with them so that one day they would be open to more.”
He also added, according to the complaint, that he used his missionary work in “Haiti to build friendships with the minors.”
Arbaug will be sentenced on June 13th. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
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