An on-the-run American was convicted of child abuse in his absence yesterday (Friday, April 28).
Wayne Melbourne Littlefield was arrested in December 2011 in Cebu City after police were tipped off that he had two young girls in his hotel room.
The older one has been identified as Michelle Ilayan who was accused of pimping out a 13-year-old girl to the offender. She pleaded guilty to attempted trafficking and has been in jail since 2015 on a 15-year stretch.
At the court in Cebu yesterday, Littlefield was convicted of human trafficking and child abuse, getting 12 years for the latter.
However, he remains at large after going into hiding during his trial. Under the terms of a “trial in absentia” he was considered to have waived his right to present evidence.
International Justice Mission-Cebu (IJM), which handled the 13-year-old victim’s case, believes Littlefield was able to go back to the USA.
IJM lawyer John Tanagho said: “We hope that American authorities track down and arrest Littlefield and return him to the Philippines to serve his 12-16 year sentence. That would be real justice for the victim in this case.”
The court was told that the girl was duped by Ilayan into buying something from a mall in Cebu City. She was later coerced into performing a sexual service for 700 pesos on another man, Australian Norman Johnson Henry.
Henry went into hiding before he could be arraigned.
After he was done with the girls, Henry brought them to a restaurant where they met Littlefield who offered 300 pesos to the 13-year-old for a sexual act.
Staff at Littlefield’s hotel tipped off authorities when they saw him going to his room with the girls.