Former Peace Corps volunteer sentenced to 15 years in prison
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today that Jesse Osmun, 33, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 15 years of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for sexually abusing four minor girls, all under the age of six, while he was a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in South Africa.
“Instead of promoting peace and providing much needed assistance consistent with the mission of the Peace Corps, this volunteer took advantage of his position and sexually abused vulnerable young children at an AIDS center pre-school in South Africa,” said U.S. Attorney Fein. “I commend Peace Corps OIG, Homeland Security Investigations and the South African Police Service for their thorough investigation of this matter.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, Osmun was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer in early 2010 and began his service at a non-governmental organization (“NGO”) in South Africa that provides education, food and other services to children, many of whom are orphans.
In May 2011, Osmun resigned from the Peace Corps after being confronted by the program director of the NGO with allegations of sexual abuse. He returned to the United States on June 2, 2011. Shortly thereafter, Peace Corps OIG and ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents, working with members of the South African Police Services, began investigating the allegations of abuse.
The investigation revealed that, while volunteering at the NGO, Osmun enticed four young girls, all of whom were under the age of six, to engage in illicit sexual acts with him. Osmun persuaded the children to engage in this conduct by playing games with them and providing them with candy, officials said, adding that Osmun sexually abused one of the victims approximately two times a week over the course of approximately five months.
On August 4, 2011, he was arrested at his home in Milford and June 27, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of traveling from the United States to South Africa to engage in illicit sexual conduct with children.
Osmun has been detained since his arrest and faced a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
“As this sentence demonstrates, there will be no refuge for child sexual predators who believe that they can victimize children outside the United States,” said Peter Vincent, director of HSI’s Office of International Affairs. “No place is too distant or too remote to escape the attention of HSI special agents, who conduct these types of investigations worldwide.”
Judge Thompson has ordered restitution and a hearing will be scheduled within 60 days to determine how much restitution Osmun will be ordered to pay and how the funds will be disseminated.