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Child Exploitation

N.J. sex tourist sentenced to 235 months

WASHINGTON - Wayne Nelson Corliss, 60, of Union City, N.J., was sentenced to 235 months in prison today in Newark, N.J., on three charges of traveling in foreign commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and a single count each of producing and possessing child pornography.

Corliss was also sentenced Nov. 16 by U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway to lifetime supervised release to follow his prison term, and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. He will be required to register as a sex offender.

Corliss was identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in May 2008 after INTERPOL made a global appeal for any information that could identify a then-unknown male. In that appeal, INTERPOL released a photo to media outlets around the world depicting an individual later identified as Corliss. The likeness in the image distributed by INTERPOL had been cropped from photos depicting Corliss sexually abusing young children in Southeast Asia. As reported by INTERPOL at that time, the images, which were distributed on the Internet, captured the abuse of children as young as 6-years-old, and were originally discovered by police in Norway. Within 48 hours of INTERPOL's global appeal, ICE special agents from field offices in Newark and Washington, D.C., coordinating with INTERPOL, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section (CEOS), identified, located and arrested Corliss. He has been in custody since his arrest.

Corliss pleaded guilty on Oct. 28, 2008. In his plea, Corliss admitted he traveled to Thailand each year from 2000 to 2002. In each instance, he admitted, he traveled with the intent to sexually abuse children, paid for unfettered access to children, brought items to facilitate their sexual abuse and actually sexually abused children. Corliss also admitted to sexually abusing children in 2002 in Thailand for the purpose of photographing and videotaping the activity. In addition, Corliss admitted to storing and possessing images of child pornography on his home computers at the time of his arrest in 2008.

Corliss and two other U.S. sex tourists, Burgess Lee Burgess and Mitchell Kent Jackson, allegedly communicated with and were afforded sexual access to children in Thailand by John Wrenshall. Wrenshall was extradited from the United Kingdom and awaits trial in New Jersey on sex tourism and child pornography charges. According to the indictment, Wrenshall had ready access to young Thai boys, some as young as 4-years-old, at his Thailand home and provided Corliss, Burgess, Jackson and others with sexual access to those children in exchange for money. Burgess, 45, and Jackson, 32, pleaded guilty on Nov. 6, 2009, in the Southern District of Alabama and were each sentenced to 78 months in prison.

This case was investigated by ICE. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vartan of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and Trial Attorney Michael Yoon of CEOS.

INTERPOL and ICE are partners in the Virtual Global Task Force, an international alliance of law enforcement committed to keeping children safe from child predators.