June 25, 2004: Headlines: Crime: Molestation: COS - Costa Rica: Psychological Testing: Santa Cruz Sentinel: A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Crime : Crime and the Peace Corps: June 25, 2004: Headlines: Crime: Molestation: COS - Costa Rica: Psychological Testing: Santa Cruz Sentinel: A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-53-195.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.53.195) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:08 am: Edit Post

A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica

A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica

A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica

S.C. man indicted in Peace Corps molestation

By KURTIS ALEXANDER
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ ó A Santa Cruz man is one of the first to be charged under a new federal law targeting international sex tourists.

A federal grand jury indicted Timothy Ronald Obert, 36, on a charge of having sex with a 14-year-old boy while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer last year in Costa Rica.

Obert was arrested at his home in Santa Cruz Wednesday and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The arrest is part of a recent U.S. Department of Justice crackdown on child predators and comes in the wake of a year-old law, the Protect Act, which tightens enforcement of crimes against children amid the growing industry of child-sex tourism.

"This is one of the first Protect Act prosecutions and also one of the few prosecutions of a Peace Corps volunteer," U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan said in a press statement.

Obertís attorney, with the Office of the Federal Public Defender in San Jose, could not be reached to comment.

The Peace Corps, which has tapped record numbers of recruits from the Santa Cruz area, would not comment on Obertís service, but defended its record of hiring "honorable," law-abiding applicants.

"We donít just want anybody to be a volunteer," said Barbara Daly, press director of the Washington-based Peace Corps, citing a rigid six- to nine-month review and background check of all volunteers.

Daly said she did not know of similar charges levied against any other Peace Corps affiliate in her two years with the agency.

About 7,500 volunteers serve in the Peace Corps, whose stated mission is to promote world peace and friendship. Volunteers assist with community development projects in more than 70 nations.

Currently, 52 UC Santa Cruz alumni are on Peace Corps missions, the fourth most of any mid-size university.

Obert served in the Peace Corps between 2001 and 2003, according to agency records.

The Justice Department alleges that on July 5, 2003 "and other occasions," Obert performed oral sex on a minor Costa Rican national, warranting his indictment on one count of "illicit sexual conduct with another person." According to the department, Obert provided the boy with money, drugs and alcohol in conjunction with the sex acts.

The Protect Act, or Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act, enacted in April of 2003, prohibits U.S. residents from engaging in sexual activities with people under 18 anywhere in the world. It imposes fines up to $250,000, prison time and supervised release programs. Obert is just the sixth American to be charged under the act.

The Justice Department maintains that Obert had a record of working with vulnerable children, citing his prior time in Nicaragua providing food to the underprivileged and assisting hurricane victims, and working in an orphanage in Honduras.

Obert is being held on $100,000 bail and faces a preliminary hearing in federal court in San Jose on Monday.

Kurtis Alexander is the Sunday editor. He can be reached at kalexander@santacruzsentinel.com.




Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Crime; Molestation; COS - Costa Rica; Psychological Testing

PCOL12052
99

.

By Sheri Scott (202.47.247.146) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 4:32 am: Edit Post

It's about time the US government began cracking down on homosexual social workers who abuse underage boys abroad. They call it a new law targeting international "sex tourists", but this term is a misnomer, as Timothy Robert Obert was not a "sex tourist", he was a Peace Corps volunteer on a mission, not a tourist on a sexual romp in Costa Rica. Let's get our facts straight here. Catchwords, such as "sex tourism" does not identify the culprits, it only serves to bad mouth tourism as it relates to prostitution, mostly with females, of which the arrest of Obert had nothing to do with.

Since the Peace Corps has now been shown to facilitate sexual abuse of underage boys in foreign countries, I think our focus here should be scrutinizing social workers activities with male children abroad, rather than the cliche "sex tourist" on a romp to some foreign country with female prostitutes. The two are in a completely different league and we better know the difference if our concern is protecting children across the globe.

Call it what it is. "Peace Corps child (boy) abuser", not "sex tourist". Call a spade a spade, and a rose a rose. The US governments job is to catch criminals abroad, not use verbal slamming ("sex tourists") in the process.

By Brian RPCV Costa Rica 03-05 (24-178-79-6.dhcp.athn.ga.charter.com - 24.178.79.6) on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 9:34 am: Edit Post

While I agree with most of what Sheri said, the fact that Tim was a homosexual has NOTHING to do with it. We should make an effort to protect all children regardless of sex. Whether you have someting against homosexuality or not, and you certainly are entitled to your own opinion, you absolutely must understand that child abuse is detrimental to society and horrible impactful on the lives of those involved, regardless of sex.

Also: The peace corps in no way has been shown to "facilitate the sexual abuse of underage boys in foreign countries". Merely being around children and trusted by their parents facilitates sexual abuse.

By Anonymous (adsl-67-123-23-29.dsl.bkfd14.pacbell.net - 67.123.23.29) on Sunday, September 30, 2007 - 9:09 pm: Edit Post

WELL SAID BRIAN!


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: