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Press Release


For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands

St. Croix, VI – United States Attorney Delia L. Smith announced today that the District Court unsealed an indictment charging Cherise King, age 39, of St. Croix with a single count of sexual abuse of a ward or minor. If convicted, King faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to court documents, King served as a paraprofessional teacher at the St. Croix Youth Rehabilitation Center (YRC), a youth detention facility. The indictment charges that between September 9, 2022, and September 15, 2022, King engaged in sexual acts with a juvenile male detainee, over the age of 12, but under the age of 16, who had been incarcerated at YRC.

The case is being investigated jointly by Homeland Security Investigations and the Virgin Islands Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Evan Rikhye.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children through the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

United States Attorney Delia L. Smith reminds the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 5, 2023

Project Safe Childhood