- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2002

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) A court found an American historian guilty of sexual perversion and sexual abuse of minors on Wednesday and sentenced him to the maximum seven years in prison.
Kurt W. Treptow, of Miami Beach, Fla., was prosecuted after he reportedly invited two girls, ages 10 and 13, into his home in Iasi, a city 200 miles northeast of Bucharest.
Treptow, 39, was arrested in October with a Romanian accomplice, Tatiana Popovici. She was found guilty of similar charges and also received a seven-year sentence. Treptow and Popovici also were ordered to pay a total of $35,000 in damages to the victims. Their attorneys said they would appeal.
Treptow's attorney, Liviu Bran, claimed his client had sex only with the 13-year-old girl, but that he didn't know she was a minor.
Treptow, who first studied in Romania as a Fulbright scholar during the communist regime toppled in 1989, has written and edited numerous books on Romanian history, including one about Romania's pro-Hitler World War II dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, and another on Vlad Tepes, the historical model for Dracula.
Treptow moved to Romania in the 1990s and is director of the Center for Romanian Studies in Iasi, the city where the trial was held.
[Bucharest Business Week Online (www.bbw.ro), a Web site in English, said Treptow was appointed this year to the Romanian Fulbright Commission by U.S. Ambassador Michael Guest.
[The site reported that several American and British academics were on the board of the center that Treptow headed, including Ernest Latham, a former U.S. cultural attache who also served this year as interim executive director of the Fulbright Commission in Romania.
[BBW described the Center for Romanian Studies as a private academic institute that had published numerous books, journals, and CD-ROMs on Romanian history and culture.]
The Treptow case received intense media scrutiny in Romania because Treptow was reported to have ties to Romania's foreign espionage service and was close to Ioan Talpes, a presidential adviser and former head of the service.
Mr. Talpes defended Treptow against criticism, portraying him as someone who helped the image of Romania.
The building in Iasi that houses the Center for Romanian Studies is owned by the espionage service. The service has declined to say whether Treptow worked there.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide