American sentenced to 10 years for sex trafficking minors in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — A man from Wisconsin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sex trafficking minors in the Philippines, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

The US DOJ on June 2 said 67-year-old Donald A. Stenson traveled to the Philippines on multiple occasions starting in 2007 and repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with minors in the country.

It also said that between 2016 and 2019, Stenson lured five victims between the ages of 11 and 17 into commercial sex arrangements, engaging in sexual activity with the victims, and providing them with money and gifts.

The agency said that a search conducted on Stenson’s gadgets uncovered multiple images and videos of the minor victims, including a video showing Stenson engaging in sexual acts with a minor.

The search also uncovered sexually explicit messages to minors and messages in which Stenson discussed engaging in sexual acts with minors with 66-year-old John Burgdorff.

The US DOJ said Burgdorff traveled with Stenson to the Philippines, and Stenson encouraged the victims to meet with Burgdorff, who also engaged them in commercial sexual activity.

Stenson and Burgdorff were arrested at Burgdorff’s residence in West Allis and charged with sex trafficking.

In November 2022, Burgdorff was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.

The US DOJ said the case was investigated by Philippine authorities, Milwaukee's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), HSI’s Manila Transnational Criminal Investigation Unit, and HSI Bangkok.