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A former Peace Corps volunteer was arrested on Thursday and charged with sexually abusing children under six while working at a preschool in South Africa in 2010, US officials said.
Jesse Osmun, 31, allegedly molested at least five minor girls and engaged in illicit sexual conduct with one of the girls while he was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer from May 2010 to May 2011 in Greytown, South Africa, according to the US Department of Justice.
“This defendant is alleged to have sexually abused very young girls, sometimes in exchange for candy, while he served as a Peace Corps volunteer at an Aids centre in South Africa,” said US Attorney David Fein in a statement.
In late March, 2010, Osmun was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer at the Umvoti Aids Centre (UAC) in Greytown, South Africa.
The UAC is a non-governmental organisation that supports residents affected by the Aids virus and provides education, food and other development services to children ages three to 15.
“Mr Osmun is charged with a shocking breach of the power entrusted to him as a Peace Corps volunteer,” said US Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
Authorities arrested Osmun at his home in Milford, Connecticut on Thursday.
He is charged with travelling outside of the United States to engage in sexual conduct with a minor, and if convicted Osmun faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250 000. - AFP