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Press Release

St. Thomas Man Indicted for Transporting a Minor for Illegal Sexual Activity

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

St. Thomas, USVI – Osvaldo Tavarez, 48, appeared for his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller after a Federal Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment charging transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced. Tavarez remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday July 18, 2018.

According to court records, Tavarez transported a minor who had not obtained the age of eighteen to an area in St. Thomas and engaged her in illegal sexual activity. Under federal law, Tavarez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Suspected child exploitation or missing children cases may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via its toll-free 24–hour hotline at 202-514-5678, or to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at (340) 693-2250.

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard E. Potter.

Updated July 17, 2018