Osvaldo Tavarez, 48, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller Tuesday for his initial court appearance after a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging him with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity.
U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said Tavarez remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
According to court records, Tavarez transported a female who was younger than 18 years old to an area in St. Thomas and engaged her in sexual activity. Under federal law, Tavarez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Suspected child exploitation or missing children cases can be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 202-514-5678, or to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations at (340) 693-2250.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.