2ND RETIREE CAUGHT IN BOGO
US pensioner is second arrested for trafficking in June
The parents of a 17-year-old girl saw nothing wrong with her staying with a 67-year-old American retiree in his bungalow home in barangay Odlot, Bogo City in northern Cebu.
But their neighbors, known for being religious who pay homage to the miraculous weeping statue of Mary, consider the relationship unhealthy, said Chief Insp. Richard Oliver, Bogo City police chief.
“Makagool kay ang iyahang mama mag-attend na sa seminar sa human trafficking pero wala gani nagamit. Gisaaran man daw ni sila nga ang bata dad-on sa America aron pakaslan (It’s lamentable because the mother attended a seminar on human trafficking but she didn’t use what she learned. She said he promised to marry the girl in the US). And they were even showered with gifts,” Oliver said.
Bogo City police caught 67-year-old American pensioner David Ray Carpenter in bed with the 17-year-old girl last Friday evening.
The girl was fully clothed.
Her mother laid next to her while her father sat on the couch.
Carpenter, who retired from the US Department of Defense Uniformed Service, was the fifth foreigner arrested on charges of human trafficking in Bogo City.
He was arrested based on a search warrant issued by Judge Antonio Marigomen of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 of Bogo City.
The arrest was made after weeks of surveillance by the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) and Children’s Legal Bureau.
The girl’s parents and Carpenter will face charges for violating Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Act, and Republic Act 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
RA 7610 prohibits adults from being with underaged persons, those 12 years old and younger or those 10 years under his/her age, in any public or private place unless they are related by blood, affinity or some bond recognized by law, custom or tradition.
The penalty is imprisonment and a P50,000 fine.
Human trafficking involving minors draws a stiffer penalty and is a non-bailable offense.
Oliver said Carpenter, who hails from the US state of North Carolina, has been staying in Cebu for five years after marrying a Filipina but they got divorced.
“The officials of barangay Odlot informed the PWC and the CLB after attending seminars on anti-human trafficking here in Bogo City,” Oliver told Cebu Daily News.
The girl’s mother works as a barangay health worker and sometimes does Carpenter’s laundry while the father is unemployed and occasionally goes fishing.
“We recovered clothes, shoes and jewelry inside his house. These gifts may have been used to lure the child,” Oliver said.
Condoms, cash, jewelry
Carpenter’s house is surrounded by a concrete fence with a spacious lawn and an unused pool.
It was built and owned by Carpenter and his former wife.
Eight packs of condoms and two cameras were allegedly recovered along with 10 memory cards and four flash drives. Oliver said they will be examined for their content.
Also recovered from his house were Wi-Fi broadband routers, expensive Apple phones, one jewelry box and several pieces of necklaces, rings and earrings, pellet and air guns.
“We seized as well P20,000 cash and dollar bills equivalent to half a million pesos,” Oliver said.
Three X-rated DVD tapes were also allegedly recovered. Three photos allegedly showed intimate photos of Carpenter and the girl.
Carpenter reportedly got stunned by the presence of police and asked, “What have I done wrong?” Oliver said Carpenter didn’t resist arrest.
“He told us that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing and said his brother-in-law and even his friends are doing the same,” Oliver said.
Oliver said the girl’s mother told the police that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing since Carpenter promised to marry the girl, who will turn 18 years old in May next year.
“The parents will face the same charges as they tolerated the alleged relationship. We still don’t know if the child was sexually abused. We still have to submit her for medical examination but there is a possibility that she might have been,” the Bogo City police chief said.
Oliver said the girl used to join pageants in the community. Carpenter stands at six feet.
Carpenter will be brought to the office of Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale for a press conference together with the personnel of CLB and PWC.
In February this year, a Filipina was arrested for pimping her 14-year old daughter to her Australian boyfriend.
Four minors were rescued from the company of a Canadian national last April.
The latest foreigner to be arrested in Bogo City was 69-year-old American pensioner Harold Glover last June 3.
The CLB said underaged girls especially in disaster-hit areas have become vulnerable targets of human trafficking.
Bogo City was among the hardest hit by supertyphoon Yolanda in November 2013.
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