- Press Release, March 22, 2011, Department of Justice, Washington, USA - Today a grand jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin returned a one-count indictment against U.S. citizen Roland J. Flath for traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor less than 18 years of age, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the 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 Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell.
According to court documents, Flath, 71, of Wisconsin, allegedly traveled to Belize in July 2006 and subsequently sexually molested a minor girl from Belize. Flath was originally charged by a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in October 2010. He was arrested by the Guatemalan National Civil Police on Feb. 20, 2011, expelled to the United States and arrested in the United States by ICE agents and the U.S. Marshal Service.
Flath faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Charges against Flath for aggravated assault of a minor are also pending in Belize.
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 Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Coblentz of the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of CEOS. This case is a result of investigative efforts led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Milwaukee and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office in Belize, with the assistance of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Regional Security Office in Guatemala, ICE HSI’s Attache Office in Guatemala, the U.S. Marshal Service and the Belize Police Department.
An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Flath is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.