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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 25, 2022

Military Dependent Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse of a Child in South Korea

A federal jury convicted a Salina, Oklahoma, man Wednesday for sexually abusing a child while the man was a military dependent at U.S. Army Garrison (USAG)-Yongsan, within the Republic of Korea, announced Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite and U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Derek Ray Flaming, 36, was found guilty of receipt of an obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; distribution of an obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; aggravated sexual abuse; and attempted sexual abuse.

“Derek Flaming sexually abused a young victim and has been convicted for his predatory acts. He now faces a minimum of 30 years and up to lifetime in prison when he is sentenced," said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I want to thank federal prosecutors, our law enforcement partners, and the jury for hearing this child and for delivering justice on her behalf.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on Nov. 18, 2016, while living in the Republic of Korea with his military spouse, Flaming attempted to sexually abuse a minor victim. Flaming admitted to law enforcement that he was nude in front of the minor victim but claimed this exposure was accidental. He also admitted to making inappropriate comments to her. Evidence at trial revealed that the defendant tried to force the minor to perform a sex act on him. When she refused, he became violent and started to strangle her. When she began screaming, he stopped.

A forensic examination of the electronic devices seized from the defendant’s residence revealed he used peer-to-peer software programs to download images and videos of child sexual abuse material. The evidence presented also showed that the defendant sent a child sexual abuse image to another person.

Following Wednesday’s guilty verdicts, the defendant was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He faces a mandatory sentence of 5 to 15 years of imprisonment for each of the receipt and distribution of an obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children charges; up to 20 years of imprisonment for the attempted sexual abuse charge, and 30 years to life imprisonment for the aggravated sexual abuse charge. A sentencing date has not been set.

MEJA gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, dependents of military members accompanying the Armed Forces.

The case was investigated by the Army Criminal Investigative Command, the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) High Technology Investigative Unit, U.S. Marshals’ Northern Oklahoma Violent Crime Task Force and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by CEOS Trial Attorney Ralph Paradiso and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Jolly of the Northern District of Oklahoma.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated March 25, 2022