NEWS: Teacher Convicted in Pedophile Case

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Subject: NEWS: Teacher Convicted in Pedophile Case
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Mon Mar 15 1999 - 11:48:16 EST


Wednesday March 3 3:45 AM ET

Teacher Convicted in Pedophile Case

By JOHN PACENTI Associated Press Writer

MIAMI (AP) - A university professor faces up to 100 years in prison after a
federal jury convicted
him of smuggling a Honduran boy into the United States to serve as his
personal prostitute.

Marvin Hersh, a computer sciences professor at Florida Atlantic University
in Boca Raton, was
convicted Tuesday on 10 counts of alien smuggling, passport fraud and child
pornography.

Prosecutor John McMillan said it was the first federal case involving
charges of bringing a juvenile
into the country for the purpose of sex.

The bespectacled, balding 59-year-old showed no emotion when the jury's
verdict was
announced.

``He was disappointed, very disappointed'' said defense attorney David Tucker.

Sentencing was set for July 9.

Hersh's defense claimed the boy was a son born to him out of a liaison with
a Honduran woman
and that his interest was purely parental. Tucker argued the Honduran family
was bribed into
testifying against Hersh in return for promises of housing and U.S. visas.

Tucker said after the verdict the jury likely was influenced by sexually
explicit images of youngsters
that were introduced as evidence.

``It's a very difficult thing to do,'' Tucker said. ``When you are looking
at a photograph like that it's
very difficult emotionally to separate yourself from it.''

Prosecutors claimed Hersh preyed on the Honduran family, trading toys,
clothing and money for
sex and eventually a chance to bring one son, then 15, into this country.

Letters found on the Hersh's computer detailed how he hoped to pass the boy
off as his own son
and how ``homeless, poor street children'' were available for exploitation
in developing countries.

Tucker said he is considering filing a request for a new trial.


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