MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the life imprisonment verdict on an overstaying American national, who was found guilty of abusing minor boys four years ago.
In a decision dated July 15 and released on Tuesday, the CA’s Thirteenth Division through Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez upheld the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 140 convicting Gordon Cregier Schuchardt of human trafficking in persons in two cases.
The appellate court said “the (Makati) trial court was correct” in sentencing Schuchardt to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole and to pay a fine of PHP2 million for the offense of qualified trafficking in persons in the first case and imprisonment of 15 years and a fined of PHP500,000 for attempted trafficking in persons in the second case.
In 2016, Bureau of Immigration operatives raided Schuchardt’s house in Barangay Palanan. He has an outstanding summary deportation order issued on September 12, 2013.
Inside the house, operatives found two boys, a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old, who were not related to Schuchardt.
The boys were brought to social welfare workers and subsequently said they were introduced to Schuchardt by their friends between 2015 and 2016.
Schuchardt managed to convince one of the boys to allow him to perform lewd acts while the other refused.
The incident was repeated around 50 times for one year with Schurchardt giving the boys PHP1,500 in a week.
Associate Justices Rafael Antonio M. Santos and Ruben Reynaldo G. Rozas concurred in the ruling. (PNA)