Local Woman Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking of Children
Saipan, CNMI – Annette Nakatsukas Basa, age 40, pleaded guilty on February 27, 2014, to sex trafficking of children. The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco. According to the plea agreement, Basa knowingly recruited, maintained, transported and provided a minor female for commercial sex acts. Basa used her cell phone to arrange meetings between adult males and the minor female and then drove the minor to meeting locations for the purpose of having those adult males engage in sex acts with the minor. Basa received money and methamphetamine in exchange for sex acts between those adult males and the minor female.
In July 2013, the CNMI Department of Public Safety received a video file from an anonymous source depicting an adult male and a minor female engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The minor was later identified. An investigation revealed that Basa had provided the minor female to the adult male for sex in exchange for methamphetamine. Basa was arrested on a complaint on August 14, 2013. On August 22, 2013, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Basa charging her with two counts of sex trafficking of children in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(a)(1).
Basa faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. Chief District Judge Ramona V. Manglona scheduled sentencing for June 6, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
United States Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco commended the FBI and the CNMI Department of Public Safety for their assistance in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rami S. Badawy and Ross K. Naughton.