Sex Offender Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor: First Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act Case on Guam
HAGATNA, Guam, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Leonardo M. Rapadas, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Marina Islands (NMI), announced that defendant Bruce Carey Wood, age 56, was sentenced today in the District Court of Guam by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood. Wood was remanded to the U.S. Marshal Service to await designation of a correctional facility. Wood received a sentence of 10 years in prison and three years supervised release, for sexual abuse of a minor, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 2243(a) & 3261(a). Wood was indicted on July 29, 2009 and entered a guilty plea on Oct. 5, 2009.
This case is the first Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) case prosecuted on Guam. Defendant Wood was employed as a civilian employee at Camp Shield Naval Base, Okinawa, Japan, when he knowingly engaged in a sexual act with a person who at that time was at least 12 but not yet 16, and at least four years younger than the defendant, between November 2000, and March 2008. The MEJA gives long arm jurisdiction to prosecute U.S. citizens outside the United States who commit criminal acts.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosetta San Nicolas and investigated by Special Agents Brandon McKinnon and Kay Ean of the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Okinawa, Japan. Credit is also given to special agents of NCIS, Guam, and the Navy legal service offices in Guam and Okinawa, for their invaluable assistance. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who conducted computer forensics is also credited.
U.S. Attorney Rapadas said, “This is proof that no one is beyond the law. MEJA allows us to reach out and prosecute U.S. citizens who commit crimes outside the United States.”
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Man sentenced for abusing teen
By Laura Matthews • Pacific Daily News email@example.com • February 17, 2010
A civilian employee at a U.S. military base in Okinawa was sentenced on Guam yesterday to 10 years in federal prison for sexually abusing — for years — a boy known to him.
Bruce Carey Wood, 57, was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service after District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood accepted his guilty plea to sexual abuse of a minor.
Wood will be under three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and is required to register as a sex offender thereafter.
“You have committed a crime against a young child and the court cannot ignore that,” Tydingco-Gatewood said.
The maximum sentence for such a crime is 15 years, court documents state.
Wood was arrested last July after the victim reported the abuse to Naval Criminal Investigation Services officers the same month.
According to court documents, the boy told the officers that Wood sexually abused him when he was almost 13 years old. The documents further state that between March 27, 2005 through and including March 26, 2008, Wood “knowingly” engaged in a sexual act with the boy.
Between those years, Wood was employed by the Armed Forces as a civilian employee for approximately 22 years at the Crow’s Nest Club aboard Camp Shield Naval Base in Okinawa, Japan, according to court documents.
Before he was sentenced, Wood apologized to his family who joined the proceeding via teleconference.
“I pray for the day that we can start over and become a family. I hope that you can forgive me … please remember I love you very much.”