- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A former U.S. diplomat pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of child pornography in a case that also included charges he pressured visa applicants in Brazil for sex.

Gons Gutierrez Nachman, 42, admitted during a plea hearing in U.S. District Court that he had sex with girls ranging in age from 14 to 17 while serving as a consular officer in Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and that he documented the encounters in pictures and videos.

According to court documents, Nachman extensively documented his sexual activities from at least 2004 through 2006. One videotape was labeled “2004 Congo Sexual Adventures.”

The plea deal includes no admission, however, to allegations that Nachman pressured attractive Brazilian visa applicants for sex. In a court affidavit, a State Department investigator said she interviewed several visa applicants in Brazil who had sex with Nachman after being aggressively pursued by him. One of the women told agents that Nachman “took advantage” of her.

The plea bargain prohibits the government from bringing more serious charges against Nachman, including production of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

Nachman’s attorney, Lorilee Gates, said that Nachman likely faces nine to 11 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. She declined comment after the hearing.

Nachman’s case is one of several in the past few years in which agents of either the State Department or the Department of Homeland Security have been accused of pressuring immigration or visa applicants for sex.

Last month in New York, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudication officer Isaac R. Baichu was arrested on corruption charges after prosecutors said he was recorded demanding sex from a young Colombian woman in exchange for a green card.

In Atlanta in 2005, former immigration officer Kelvin R. Owens pleaded guilty in federal court to sexual assault after a woman said she was assaulted during a citizenship interview. Similar cases also have been brought in California and elsewhere.

Nachman, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Costa Rica, earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was president of the Naturist Student Association and led demonstrations involving public nudity in 1995, according to the campus newspaper.

Thursday’s hearing ended on an unusual note. Nachman’s attorney told the judge that Nachman was trying to marry his fiancee but was having difficulty doing so because the jail where he is being held prohibits such ceremonies.

“Are you asking me to perform the wedding?” Judge Gerald Bruce Lee asked.

Miss Gates said that would be wonderful, and the judge appeared to be considering the idea until prosecutor Ron Walutes pointed out that the fiancee is a 21-year-old Brazilian national — a profile not entirely dissimilar from some of Nachman’s victims in the case.

Judge Lee then said he thought the logistical difficulties of obtaining a marriage license while incarcerated made such a ceremony unlikely, though he did not rule out the possibility if Nachman’s lawyer could figure out a way to make it work.


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