Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Hawaii
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, July 31, 2019
U.S. Citizen Arrested For Sexual Conduct With A Minor In A Foreign Place
HONOLULU – George Alexis Theros, 76, was arrested yesterday and charged by criminal complaint with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, in violation of 18 United States Code § 2423(c). He made an initial appearance in federal court on July 31, 2019.
Kenji M. Price, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced that the criminal complaint charges Theros with sexually abusing a 14 year-old girl on a boat in Panama. The complaint alleges that witnesses in Panama reported acts of sexual conduct Theros committed on the girl, whom he had claimed was his daughter. Witnesses in Thailand reported that, years ago, Theros paid the girl’s family in Thailand in order to “adopt” her when she was nine or ten years old. The witnesses also reported that the girl then proceeded to live with Theros in his home in Thailand.
According to the criminal complaint, in the spring of 2019, Theros traveled with the girl from Thailand to Panama, and planned to transport her to Hawaii on a boat. When witnesses on the boat realized Theros was sexually abusing the girl, they reported his conduct to law enforcement in Panama. Theros abruptly fled back to Thailand, leaving the girl behind in Panama. He traveled to Hawaii last week, and was arrested on July 30, 2019.
Combatting the exploitation of children is a significant enforcement priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii (USAO), as well as federal law enforcement agency components in Hawaii, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This prosecution is one of many brought by the USAO in the last 15 months to hold those who sexually exploit minors accountable.
Last May, the USAO brought federal charges against Defendant Dustin Miyakawa for coercion and enticement of a minor, sex trafficking of children, and sexual exploitation of a child. Miyakawa pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor, and is facing a minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment when he is sentenced in October. Since last May, the USAO brought significant charges against 12 additional defendants—which includes Theros—for exploiting children. Eight of these defendants are charged with attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual acts, and some of the eight are charged with other offenses. If convicted of attempted enticement, the defendants face a mandatory minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment.
Three of the 12 defendants are charged with child pornography offenses. Two of them—Daniel Lyles and Justin Furr—pleaded guilty. At sentencing, both face a mandatory minimum term of five years of imprisonment.
“These prosecutions demonstrate the federal law enforcement community’s commitment to protecting one of Hawaii’s most precious assets—the boys and girls who hold its future in their hands,” stated U.S. Attorney Price. “Our message as a law enforcement community is simple: If your goal is to sexually exploit children, we’ll do everything in our power as a federal law enforcement community to find a home for you in federal prison.”
“The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous offense, U.S. citizens traveling abroad need to be cognizant of the fact that U.S. law prohibits this activity and that U.S. law enforcement agents will work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice,” said John F. Tobon, Acting Special Agent in Charge for HSI Honolulu.
The Theros prosecution was jointly investigated by HSI in Honolulu, Hawaii and Panama City, Panama, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Overseas Criminal Investigations Division with assistance from the DSS Honolulu Resident Office, and local law enforcement in Panama and Thailand. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Morgan Early.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and a defendant charged by complaint or indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted of the charge in the complaint, Theros faces up to thirty years in prison. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.