Ex-priest extradited to US for sex abuse trial

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 | No Comments

MANILA. The Court of Appeals (CA) has approved the extradition of former priest Fernando Sayasaya to the United States to stand trial for sexual molestation.

The CA affirmed the ruling of the Manila City regional trial court ordering the extradition of Sayasaya, who is wanted in the US for allegedly sexually molesting two minors on several occasions from 1995 to 1998.

Sayasaya served in North Dakota and fled to the Philippines after brothers Hugo and Pablo Zamarron filed gross sexual imposition charges against him in the town of West Fargo.

The brothers allege that Sayasaya sexually abused them between 1995 and 1998 both at their home and in church.

Sayasaya left the US with the permission of his superiors. He never returned prompting the US government to seek the help of the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ filed a repatriation case against Sayasaya at a Manila court which ruled to send him back in 2010.

The former priest lodged an appeal that was finally resolved earlier this month. In a 23-page decision, the first division of the appellate court dismissed Sayasaya’s petition questioning the extradition order.

The CA, through Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier, stressed the Philippine government has an obligation to ensure that crimes would not go unpunished.

“Suppression of crimes is the concern not only of the state where it is committed but also of any other state to which the criminal may have escaped… On this score, we cannot allow our country to be a haven for fugitives, cowards, and weaklings who, instead of facing the consequences of their actions, choose to run and hide,” the CA said.

The CA also dismissed Sayasaya’s claim that the supporting documents submitted before the trial court, such as the copies of the information, warrant of arrest, affidavits of the victims, were not properly and legally authenticated by an embassy official in violation of the Philippine Extradition Law.

Sayasaya was placed on administrative leave by the Catholic Church in August 1998 and was sent to the Blue Cloud abbey in South Dakota. In December 1998, he sought permission spend Christmas in the Philippines, promising to return the following month but later refused to go back.

He was eventually defrocked by the Vatican.

Source: http://www.manilamaildc.net/2012/04/22/ex-priest-extradited-to-us-for-sex-abuse-trial/

Ex-priest extradited to US for sex abuse trial
Manila Mail
April 22, 2012