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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

Friday, December 15, 2017

Former Fargo Priest Extradited To United States From Philippines to Face Sexual Abuse Charges

FARGO – United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers announces that on December 15th, 2017, FERNANDO LAUDE SAYASAYA, was extradited to the United States and will face state child sexual abuse charges that were filed in Cass County District Court in December of 2002.  The charges allege the offenses took place between July 1995 and June 1997 for one victim and June 1997 through August 1998 for another victim.


            A federal indictment was returned on Sayasaya for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution on January 7, 2003, when Sayasaya failed to return to the United States following a visit to the Philippines in 1998.


            Sayasaya was ordered extradited by a court in the Philippines on December 28, 2010 and appealed that order. An appellate court in the Philippines upheld the extradition order on February 29, 2012 and a warrant was issued after Sayasaya failed to appear on a summons. After close coordination with Philippines law enforcement, Sayasaya was arrested on November 19, 2017 in the Philippines and was transported to the United States by the United States Marshal’s Service. The United States will dismiss the federal charges to allow Cass County to proceed with their charges.


            United States Attorney Myers stated: “This case illustrates the close cooperation at the international, federal, and state and local jurisdictions to locate, apprehend and extradite defendants who seek refuge outside of the United States to thwart justice. This successful extradition is a result of twenty years of relentless police work by Det. Greg Warren of the West Fargo Police Department and Philippine authorities. This case exemplifies the strong partnerships we have developed here in North Dakota and worldwide. We would like to express our gratitude for the cooperation provided by Philippine law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine National Police and the Philippines Department of Justice.”


            This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshal’s Service, West Fargo Police Department, Cass County State’s Attorney’s office, United States Department of Justice - Office of International Affairs, and law enforcement personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.


            ## The Indictment in this case is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. ##

Updated December 18, 2017