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News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. July 24, 2018: An American-born man will spend the next 23 years of his life in jail for traveling to Haiti and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a five-year-old child.

James Daniel Arbaugh, 40, of Virginia man, was on Monday sentenced to 276 months in prison, to be followed by a life term of supervised release for the crime that dates back to 2016. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth K. Dillion of the Western District of Virginia and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He had He faced up to 30 years in prison.


According to statements made by the Court during Armbaugh’s sentencing hearing, during his time in Haiti, the Virginia man traveled as a Mennonite missionary regularly visiting remote towns and villages, where he would befriend and groom children in these communities.

Arbaugh 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.


Arbaugh pleaded guilty on Feb. 6, 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.

Arbaugh had lived in Haiti for approximately 15 years.

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.



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