American sentenced to life for trafficking

AFTER four years, a 71-year-old American national was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for human trafficking and child abuse on May 10 in Davao City.

Based on the statement, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Davao City presided by Judge Lope L. Calio, convicted a 71-year-old American national named George William Nolan, a native of Michigan, for molesting a male minor.

Nolan was sentenced to 12 to 20 years of imprisonment for child abuse and life imprisonment for human trafficking. He was likewise ordered to pay a fine of P5 million and to pay the private complainant damages in the total amount of P375,000.

In 2015, Nolan was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Davao and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in response to information that the respondent has been allegedly conducting suspicious activities involving minors in his residence in Catalunan Grande.

The suspect was found to have harbored a 17 years old for the purpose of sexually molesting him. The court found that Nolan was able to lure the minor to live with him from August 2013 until December 2015. He convinced the victim to agree to his sexual advances by telling the victim he would spend for his schooling and other school expenses and give him extra money.

“The court ruled that it is 'evident that the accused, with his money, took undue advantage of the vulnerability of AAA, a minor, with no parents to lean on and nobody to turn to for support, care, and protection',” the statement said.

The court was not convinced with the defense of Nolan that he is just friends with the minor victim and the latter’s other young friends. The suspect defended that he just asked the victim and his friends to stay over at his house since it was already late at night and he did not want them go home.

The court also did not give credence to the claims of Nolan that there was no sexual molestation and that he and the minor just hugged.

Prosecutors Deputy Regional Prosecutor Barbara Mae P. Flores and Assistant Regional Prosecutor Ritzel R. Polinar were ecstatic with the court’s decision and hope that this conviction would help deter the further exploitation of children by individuals.

“This decision against a foreign national will send a strong message to the entire world that in the Philippines, we take the matter of protecting our children seriously,” Flores said.

Asked about the reason of the delay, lawyer Janet Grace Fabrero, regional prosecutor, said in an interview Wednesday, May 15, that Nolan could not attend the hearing due to his health since the suspect is diabetic.

“The defense always asked for a postponement of the trial. Delay is attributed to the defense because accused is sickly including his counsel. No postponement from the prosecution from the very start,” Fabrero said.

She added that his request for bail was denied by the court. Nolan is now under the custody of Maa City Jail but after his conviction has been processed, he will be transferred to Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) in Panabo City.

Fabrera said he will be serving his sentence in the Philippines but after he will complete his sentence, he will be deported to his country.


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