American man indicted for exploiting Laotian kids

August 28, 2020

By a Biometrica staffer

An American man was indicted for exploiting teenage boys in Laos, where he taught English, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. Michael Sebastian, 52, was indicted on three counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and three counts of sex trafficking of children.

Sebastian was charged by criminal complaint and arrested on July 7 2020 in Lynn, Massachusetts.  He was, later on, released on conditions including home incarceration in Ashby following a detention hearing on July 31 2020.

According to the charging documents, Sebastian provided housing to at least three boys, aged between 13 and 18, during at least the past two years. In lieu of paying rent to live with him, Sebastian allegedly “allowed” the boys to pay off their rent by performing chores. These chores included giving Sebastian massages – which, in turn, included masturbating Sebastian, the documents showed.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling of the District of Massachusetts, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office made the announcement. This case was brought as 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 DoJ. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.