KwaZulu-Natal – The US Peace Corps has expressed its deepest sympathies to the young girls who were preyed upon by convicted sex offender and corps volunteer Jesse Osmun.
“The Peace Corps has no tolerance for abuse of any kind and our deepest sympathies are with all the victims involved,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the director of the Peace Corps.
She was addressing the media at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday, a day after Osmun was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing several girls under the age of six at the uMvoti Aids Centre in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal.
In June, Osmun pleaded guilty to molesting the girls while he was with the Peace Corps. He left South Africa on June 1 last year after being confronted by a manager at the haven who saw Osmun follow three girls into a building.
He was arrested at his home in Milford, Connecticut, on August 4 last year after a joint investigation by South Africa and US authorities.
Giving sentence in Connecticut, Judge Alvin Thompson gave weight to Osmun’s admission of guilt after his arrest, his show of remorse and his willingness to receive treatment.
Judge Thompson sentenced Osmun to a further 10 years probationary supervision, which will follow his release.
The US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) worked with the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority in investigating the case.
“Through close collaboration between the US and South African law enforcement officials, we have been able to close this sad case and bring justice to this criminal.
“Our heart goes out to the young victims involved,” said Virginia Palmer, the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Pretoria.
HSI director Peter Vincent said: “No place is too distant or too remote to escape the attention of law enforcement.”
HSI targets, investigates and prosecutes sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, internet child pornographers, criminal sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
Vincent said: “As this sentence clearly demonstrates, there will be no refuge for US citizens who believe they may victimise children outside the US.
“ – Daily News