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Child Exploitation
09/06/2012

Wisconsin man sentenced to 5 years for sexually exploiting a minor in Belize

MILWAUKEE – A Wisconsin man was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison for traveling to a foreign country and having illicit sexual conduct with a minor. This sentence was announced by: Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin; John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and Scott Bultrowicz, Director of the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

Roland J. Flath, 72, of Fond du Lac, Wis., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller. In addition to his prison term, Flath was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release. Flath pleaded guilty before Judge Stadtmueller May 19.

According to court documents, Flath traveled to Belize in July 2006 and sexually molested a minor girl there. Flath was originally charged by a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in October 2010. He was initially arrested in Belize but was released and fled to Guatemala. He was arrested by the Guatemalan National Civil Police Feb. 20, 2011, expelled to the United States, and arrested in the United States by officers with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Marshals Service. Flath was indicted March 22, 2011 by an Eastern District of Wisconsin grand jury.

"So called sex tourists like Mr. Flath will fly across the globe to indulge their depraved desires," said ICE Director John Morton. "However, in cooperation with our federal and international law enforcement partners, Mr. Flath will serve a lengthy prison sentence and be unable to further exploit innocent children.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Coblentz of the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). Assistance was provided by the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department's Criminal Division. This case resulted from investigative efforts led by HSI Milwaukee, the DSS's Regional Security Office in Belize, CEOS's High Technology Investigative Unit, and the Belize Police Department.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein, District of Rhode Island, on behalf of the U.S. government.