FSM Government files Human Trafficking charges against a Pohnpeian and an American
- Category: News
- Published: Monday, 20 March 2017 08:40
- Written by Bill Jaynes
- Hits: 9257
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
March 1, 2017
Pohnpei—On February 8, the FSM government filed charges against two men for human trafficking charges, specifically involving the prostitution of minors under the age of 18. William Chunn, a Pohnpeian taxi driver with K&M Taxi of Pohnpei is charged with 33 counts, and Joseph Parisi, a ship captain from the United States is charged with 13 counts.
An affidavit provided to the FSM Supreme Court by Sergeant Kasner Aldens of the National Police said that he was tasked early in the year to conduct investigations on human trafficking cases involving under age victims. His affidavits were very specific about the alleged events that led to the charges against both men. In the case of Parisi, the details went so far as to list the denominations of currency that were allegedly used to complete the transactions.
Chunn is charged with multiple counts for several transactions involving the alleged recruitment, transportation and transference of minors for sexual favors in exchange for money.
The criminal information filed against Chunn claims that on February 8, Parisi called K&M Taxi and asked for Chunn to come to the Seven Stars Hotel where Parisi was staying at the time. Aldens’ affidavit said that Parisi asked Chunn to “bring him a chick”. It claims that Chunn returned with a 16 year old victim who sat in his taxi until after Chunn had received $50 from Parisi, allegedly for delivering the girl to him after which he went to the taxi and told her to go inside.
The affidavit says that the two ultimately had sex after sharing a pizza together and that he paid the victim, who told him she was 17, $200 in the form of one $100 bill and two $50 bills. After some time, Chunn came back and picked the victim up. The affidavit says that she gave Chunn the $100 bill representing it as payment from Parisi. The two went to Amcres gas station where Chunn allegedly used the bill to pay for $20 of gas. He reportedly kept $30 and gave the victim $50. The victim kept the rest of the money she hadn’t reported to Chunn.
Parisi’s description of events is expected to differ substantially from Aldens’ affidavit.
Chunn’s charges include several other occasions where the details were not quite as detailed as in the case of Parisi.
The first affidavit says that sometime in 2016 Chunn picked up “child victim 1” and “child victim 2” in his taxi. An unknown male was aboard. He drove the passengers to Tropic Helicopters and picked up another unknown male. He then drove them all to the former Rumors bar and dropped them off. “Child victims 1 and 2” had sexual intercourse with the two unknown males on the concrete floor of the former bar on blankets the two men had brought with them. They received $40 each from the men. Chunn came back and picked the two men up at which time “child victims 1 and 2” left Rumors on their own.
Aldens’ affidavit said that in December of 2016, Chunn drove his taxi with two unknown males aboard and picked up two child victims at the FSM Telecom headquarters. It says that he then drove to the back of the JG store near the PAMI building. After their arrival, one of the unidentified men and one of the victims got out of the taxi while the other two had sex inside the taxi. When they were finished, the other two got in and had sex. Afterwards, one of the males handed one of the child victims $50. The other male handed the other child victim an unidentified amount of cash. One of the child victims handed Chunn $30 in cash after which Chunn drove the victims back to Telecom and then drove away with the unidentified males.
In another incident described in Sergeant Aldens’ affidavit, Chunn allegedly picked up another child victim near the Spanish Wall in December 2016. An unknown male passenger was aboard. Aldens testifies that he then drove them to the dredge site in Daini, Sokehs and left the victim and the unknown male inside. They had sexual intercourse. The child victim allegedly paid Chunn $10 and the unknown male also paid him $10.
Pending trial both men were released on their own recognizance with certain pre-trial release conditions including that both men were to stay 100 feet or more away from minors except that Chunn was permitted to have contact with his children.
On February 22, Parisi moved from Joy Hotel where he had been staying to a cottage at Ocean View. On that same day Aldens showed up with a search warrant that could not be executed on that day. He told the owner of Ocean View that he had to search the place because Parisi “was going around the island having sex with minors”, an assertion that Parisi claimed in an affidavit was not true. The owner refused access and the National Police parked a vehicle at the end of the driveway from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
On February 23 at 8:30 in the morning, Parisi and his attorney waited for the police to serve the warrant and conduct their search. They confiscated his laptop and his only cell phone. His attorney told Parisi to buy a new cell phone and text the number to the attorney, which he did.
At about 6:15 that evening, according to a filing by Parisi’s attorney, Parisi went to Ace Office to buy some groceries. Parisi was in the back of the store buying vegetables and talking on his cell phone to Anne Vitt when he noticed Sergeant Aldens rapidly approaching him. The filing claims that Aldens asked a woman who was nearby what her age was. She replied that she was “twenty-something” and wanted to know why he had asked. Aldens allegedly told her that Parisi was not allowed around minors within 100 feet. He then told an older gentleman the same thing and said that he was going to arrest Parisi which he did.
According to the filing requesting an emergency hearing, Parisi said that he was merely buying groceries but that Aldens waved his arm around the store saying that the store was full of minors though he didn’t point one out. He would not allow Parisi to call his attorney saying that he could do that after he was at the jail when he was being questioned. Parisi was made to wait in line while Aldens made his own grocery purchases after which he was taken to the jail.
An emergency hearing did take place in late February during which the father of the 13 year old minor who was in the store at the time testified that Parisi had walked by them but that he had never made contact and that he seemed only to be shopping. The government argued that they felt that Parisi had violated the terms of his pre-release by coming within 100 feet of a minor and that as a result he should be jailed until trial but was agreeable to amending the terms of the pre-release. The defense argued that Parisi had not made contact with a minor and that his being in the presence of a minor in a public place was purely unintentional, and that the conditions of the pre-release were almost impossible to live up to if one is to live on a small island.
The Court agreed with the Government that Parisi had violated the conditions of his pre-release but that the violation was unintentional. The new pre-release provisions apply to both defendants and allow them to be in proximity of minors in public places such as the hospital, the bank, the grocery store and other public places so long as no contact is made with the minors but stipulated that they must seperate themselves from minors as soon as resonably possible. It additionally banned contact with minors by cellphone, other electronic devices, or through third parties. Chunn is still allowed contact with his minor children. It also established an 11:00 PM through 7:00 AM curfew for both defendants.
Joe, Ichiko and Anne Vitt agreed to house Parisi and the court released Parisi from jail under their supervision.