Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Former U.S. aid agency contractor charged with having sexual contact with boy while working in Bangladesh. It's unconscionable that someone would travel overseas representing the United States, then allegedly prey upon children from the very country he had been enlisted to help
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A 64-year-old former contract employee for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon on charges stemming from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that he engaged in illicit sexual contact with a boy while working for USAID in Bangladesh.
William Newton Rudd, who previously lived in Fullerton, Calif., arrived at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday after being expelled from the African nation of Togo, where he had most recently resided. Authorities in Togo arrested Rudd on immigration violations last Friday after his U.S. passport was revoked in the wake of his indictment.
Rudd was named in a one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on August 29 and unsealed this morning. The indictment charges Rudd with traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. According to the indictment, Rudd traveled from the United States to Bangladesh in 2003 to work as an advisor on a USAID-funded development project. The indictment alleges that while in Bangladesh, the then-60-year-old Rudd engaged in sexual contact with a Bangladeshi boy who was 10 years old when the sexual contact started. The indictment states that the illicit sexual conduct took place from November 2003 through May 2004.
Bangladeshi authorities opened a preliminary investigation into Rudd in 2004 after receiving complaints about his activities. Rudd fled Bangladesh after the Bangladeshi National Police executed a search warrant at his hotel. The allegations were then relayed to ICE, which conducted the investigation that led to the indictment. ICE received substantial assistance from the U.S. State Department.
"It's unconscionable that someone would travel overseas representing the United States, then allegedly prey upon children from the very country he had been enlisted to help," said Robert Schoch, special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in Los Angeles. "This case serves as a strong reminder that any exploitation of children by American citizens is a crime anywhere and ICE works with its law enforcement partners here and abroad to see that U.S. citizens are brought home to face some of the toughest laws in the world."
If convicted, Rudd faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
After this afternoon's court appearance, Rudd is expected to be arraigned on the indictment next Monday.
The case is being prosecuted jointly by Trial Attorney Myesha Braden of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne C. Gannon of the Central District of California