Friday, April 18, 2008

Gons Nachman, Former U.S. Vice-Consul and Incurable Romantic, Pleads Guilty

Gons Nachman, the former Foreign Service Officer whose legal troubles I have been following (here, and here), pled guilty yesterday to charges that will probably put him in prison for nine to eleven years, under Federal sentencing guidelines.

Here's the Associated Press story, via WTOP News:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A former U.S. diplomat pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of child pornography in a case that also included allegations that he pressured visa applicants in Brazil for sex.

The plea deal includes no admission, however, to allegations that Nachman pressured attractive Brazilian visa applicants for sex. In a court affidavit, a State Department investigator said she interviewed several visa applicants in Brazil who had sex with Nachman after being aggressively pursued by him. One of the women told agents that Nachman "took advantage" of her. The plea bargain prohibits the government from bringing more serious charges against Nachman, including production of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

Up to that point in the proceedings, it was a normal day in court. But then Nachman's lawyer made a special request of the judge, WTOP reports.

Thursday's hearing ended on an unusual note. Nachman's attorney told the judge that Nachman was trying to marry his fiancee but was having difficulty doing so because the jail where is being held prohibits such ceremonies.

"Are you asking me to perform the wedding?" Judge Gerald Bruce Lee asked.

Gates said that would be wonderful, and the judge appeared to be considering the idea until prosecutor Ron Walutes pointed out that the fiancee is a 21-year-old Brazilian national - a profile not entirely dissimilar from some of Nachman's victims in the case.

Lee then said he thought the logistical difficulties of obtaining a marriage license while incarcerated made such a ceremony unlikely, though he did not rule out the possibility if Nachman's lawyer could figure out a way to make it work.

Now that I know Nachman has a Brazilian fiancee, a comment I received to an earlier post about this case is coming into focus. Someone pleading Nachman's case asked me:

How solid could be this case if the main “witness” was emotionally linked to Nachman? Don’t you think this could be some sort of revenge?

The fact that he was a member or founder of the "Naturist Student Society" is not even worth to be mentioned, how this could affect on his performance as a Foreign Officer?

As a comment, do you know how the prosecutors got the “evidence”? do they used a judge order to search his apartment or his computer? At least in my country, an order is needed to search a house or an office, and this kind of mistakes can be used even to get any “evidence” useless.

I replied:

Nachman is charged with producing and possessing child pornography, misuse of his diplomatic passport, and making false statements. The case against Nachman relies on physical evidence as well as witness testimony.

He possessed illegal things [child porn] and signed his name to untruthful statements on official documents.

Much of the evidence seems to have come from Nachman himself. According to news reports, Nachman kept diaries in which he recorded sexual encounters with girls as young as 14 [which is a serious crime here in Gringo-Land], and he made statements to investigators admitting to that and other criminal violations.

Nachman's defense lawyer hasn't alleged that any of the evidence against him was gathered improperly.

So, to answer your questions, I do not think that Nachman is the victim of a revengeful witness, not do I think the evidence against him will be thrown out.

p.s. - I don't think Nachman's college nudist activites effected his performance as an FSO. I think it was his predatory sexual behavior with children and visa applicants that effected his performance as an FSO.

If Nachman does manage to marry the lucky 21-year old, is there any chance whatsoever that she will not get a visa?


DS said...

If Nachman does manage to marry the lucky 21-year old, is there any chance whatsoever that she will not get a visa?

-- Probably, as she has to overcome the public charge requirement. Who is going to support her in the US if hubby is in jail?

TSB said...

Good point. Thanks

Consul-At-Arms said...

It seems to me that if the bride-to-be, Brazilian or not, is already present in Alexandria, Virginia, than a visa is superfluous.

A green card is another matter, however.

Anonymous said...

I know from visa official contacts that NAchman got the "fiancee" a visa in San Jose in January by mis-representing himself as an FSO on leave between assignments (when he was already suspended and under investigation). If she really is his "fiancee" he should have applied for a K visa for fiances, and as a visa officer he knew that. He committed visa fraud at least 3 ways in helping her to get a visa -- and that's called alien smuggling. She should never have been granted a visa because she was applying outside her home country, but of course, she couldn't get one there because he'd already been caught.
His plea bargain deal is a real deal, but I hope he gets the max sentence for the charges he did cop to. I know from someone else with firsthand knowledge that "The Naturist Club" at UPenn -- is a very euphemistic way of saying he used to walk around campus naked -- what a nut case. And DS gave him a security clearance.....

Anonymous said...

> I know Mr Nachman for many years, I think he is one
> of the most decent human beings that I know.
> The alleged crimes did not happen in the USA, but in
> CONGO where the age of consent is 14. Mr. Nachman
> simply had consentual sex. in CONGO . And he
> documented the encounters in pictures and videos.
> As for his fiancé, she comes from a wealthy family
> and also she is a law student .
> The truth is that they traveled to Costa Rica to get
> engaged.

TSB said...

Wow. So the Gons Nachman saga continues. Will he face further charges for committing visa fraud? Will he finally marry that rich 21-year old law student? I'll stay tuned.

To the anonymous defender of Gons, I have some advice. If I were vouching for someone's good character, I would avoid mentioning the fact that he had sex with 14 year-olds (even in the Congo). And that he documented the encounters really doesn't help, either. But I believe you when you say it was all consensual; hunger will do that to 14-year old girls in third world countries.

Anonymous said...

All the talk about "consensual" sex and the charges against him being a vendetta misses the point. Nachman was likely investigated per the PROTECT Act of 2003. See this website for more information:

TSB said...

Thanks. Here's the text from that link:

"Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad. For purposes of the PROTECT Act, illicit sexual conduct includes any commercial sex act in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18. The law defines a commercial sex act as any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by a person under the age of 18.

Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 for criminal sexual purposes that include, among other things, the production of child pornography. This same law makes it a crime to use any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transport obscene materials to minors under the age of 16."

Anonymous said...

Gon's perversions preceded his time at the DOS. He was an United States Citizenship and Immigration Service's asylum officer in Miami from about 1999-2003. He went on several "refugee" overseas assignments to Africa while with USCIS (formerly) INS and came back with mementos of his young conquests. He has married several stripper type women to help them get green cards, provided they will agree to open marriages and wild sex parties. There were allegations vs. Gons at USCIS that held up his transfer to DOS but some numbskull gave him the clearance anyway. Who knows how many victims he has created in his various gov't careers? I bet you that they are afraid to find out.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, nice guy or not, the purpose of a government diplomat representing the United States is to be of the highest character. For Gons to go overseas and have sex with 14 year kids (on America's dime) for crying out loud, does not demonstrate the kind of leadership that we need to represent our country. Culturally acceptable or not- I would hope that other more important things were on his mind, aside from having sex with 14 year olds. This is shameful. He deserves his reward: Jail. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I mwt Mr Nachman in Guinea on the 25th March 2002 when he presided over our case.People whon claimed to be concerned Sierra Leoneans who were pursuing personal vendetta against me wrote lies about me and my family.a certain official who was working at IOM and is now in Australia with whom i had an argument when he asked me to bribe him so that he can facilitate my departure to the United States met Mr Nachman at a hotel called Camayenne Hotel in Conakry and they arranged that we should be intimidated.MR Nachman went on to do the job the IOM Official told him to do.He closed the door when he was interviewing my Junior brother, he threatened my brother and closed the dooors and the windows,infact he told my brother that he was from FBI and that he will make sure my brother will be sent back to Sierra Leone,David at this point panicked and fainted.
After this incident we contacted Father Jim Tully tried to help us by contacting the INS and explaining how he knew us.Now Mr Nachman was in hot waters he then called me that i should sign that all what i said against him was false so that he can help me and family because according to him he is a lawyer and that he can defend himself and land me and my family in problems.he called a Police officer called Mr Kabbah to threatned us so taht we can sigh,when we refused they told us to come the next day and the whole of that day Gons was busy writing on our files,he bribed interpreters to make false declarations against us and after that we were told to report on the 12th of April 2002 only to be told that our refugee status has been revoked you can reach me at Egerton