A man who moved to the Philippines to seduce a poverty-stricken 16-year-old girl whom he photographed in sexually explicit poses and pretended to marry should be convicted of sexually exploiting the teenager, a prosecutor told a Los Angeles federal jury Tuesday, but the defense remained silent until later in the trial.
Stanley Dan Reczko III faces up to life in federal prison if convicted of the sexual exploitation of a child and transporting child pornography to the United States.
“This is a case about power, poverty and control,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Baehr-Jones told jurors, adding that Reczko “groomed” the victim in order “to use her” to produce child porn.
Reczko “used his power and relative wealth as an American citizen … to engage in sexual acts and make many (photographic) sessions of child pornography” with the girl, Baehr-Jones told the jury.
Defense attorney David Kaloyanides reserved his opening statement until later in the case.
The victim, Baehr-Jones alleged, was “just 13 when the defendant began seducing her on the telephone from the United States.”
“In exchange for sending her school supplies,” Reczko “instructed” the teenager to perform sex acts over the Internet while he watched, Baehr- Jones said.
Within two years, Reczko had moved to Cebu, an island province in the Philippines, where he lived with the girl in a one-room apartment and began taking more than 100 illicit photos of the victim, the prosecution alleged.
“After taking her virginity, he even pretended to marry her,” Baehr- Jones said.
Reczko, 50, formerly of Los Angeles was arrested in September 2007 after arriving in the United States from the Philippines, allegedly carrying a laptop computer filled with child pornography.
In 1997, Reczko pleaded guilty in New York to the first-degree rape of a 12-year-old relative, for which he was sentenced to between four and eight years in prison, according to documents and statements in previous hearings. Jurors in the current case were not told of Reczko’s criminal history.
Testimony is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: