- The Washington Times - Friday, September 3, 2004

Federal agents have charged a Peekskill, N.Y., man with smuggling a 15-year-old girl from Ecuador into the United States for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with her.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Dean Boyd yesterday said Jesse Wayne Clark, 26, was arrested this week at his home, where agents took the girl into custody along with two other minor children, who later were identified as the teenager’s daughters.

Mr. Boyd said all three were turned over to the Department of Social Services.

According to a criminal complaint, an ICE investigation began on June 16, 2003, after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Newark International Airport conducted an inspection of Mr. Clark when he arrived on a flight from Panama.

The complaint said the CBP inspectors found Mr. Clark in possession of two Ecuadorian passports issued to the teenage girl.

Mr. Boyd said the CBP inspectors also found journals in his possession that contained instructions on how to smuggle persons across the Southwestern border, as well as Mr. Clark’s intention to bribe immigration officials at Newark airport, and details of Mr. Clark’s violent sexual acts with the teenage girl.

According to the complaint, Mr. Clark told CBP inspectors he ultimately sought to bring the teenager back to the United States because she was pregnant with his child.

The complaint accused Mr. Clark of traveling to Ecuador on Jan. 28 by way of Newark airport and later returning to the United States with the teenager by smuggling her across the Southwestern border.

Mr. Boyd said ICE agents learned last month that Mr. Clark was in Peekskill, after New York State Police responded to a domestic violence complaint involving Mr. Clark and a woman he said was his wife from Ecuador. New York police contacted ICE agents, who soon determined the teenager living with Mr. Clark was the same one identified in the passports found in 2003.

The complaint said that during an interview with ICE agents, the teenage girl said Mr. Clark frequently beat her and did not allow her to leave the home without him. It said she also accused Mr. Clark of smuggling her and her child across the Southwestern border.

It also said Mr. Clark had brought her other child into the United States in December 2003, and that he had altered information in certain legal documents about her.

“The allegations laid out in this criminal complaint are appalling. ICE is doing everything in its power to ensure that predators like this are removed from our communities,” said ICE Agent Kyle Hutchins, who heads the agency’s Newark office. “The meticulous work of ICE agents and the assistance we received from other law enforcement agencies were critical in rescuing this teenager and her children.”

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