Four years after his arrest, a 71-year-old American has been handed a life sentence for molesting boys in Davao City.
George William Nolan, a native of Michigan, has been convicted of child abuse and human trafficking.
The first of these offences carries a sentence of up to 20 years, while the second carries a full life term. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of five million pesos.
As we reported in August 2015, Nolan was accused of molesting eight boys who lived at his house in the city’s Catalunan Grande neighbourhood.
Finally, last week (on Friday, May 10) he was convicted on one count of molesting a male minor and was also ordered to pay the victim damages of 375,000 pesos.
Nolan was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Social Welfare and Development after neighbours had reported his “suspicious activities”.
It was discovered that he had a 17-year-old boy living in his house as a lover. Investigators discovered that he had been there since he was aged 15, and that Nolan would pay him cash for having sex with him.
A statement from the regional trial court issued this week said: “The court ruled that it is ‘evident that the accused, with his money, took undue advantage of the vulnerability of [name redacted], a minor, with no parents to lean on and nobody to turn to for support, care, and protection’.”
In defence, Nolan claimed that he was just a friend to the boy, through whom he also got to know his classmates and young neighbours. He also said that he had only asked the victim and his friends to stay over at his house because it was late and he was concerned for their safety.
The court also rejected Nolan’s claim that there was no sexual molestation, and he had only hugged the boy.
Davao prosecutors “ecstatic”
Prosecutors Barbara Mae Flores and Ritzel R Polinar said they were “ecstatic” with the court’s decision.
“This decision against a foreign national will send a strong message to the entire world that in the Philippines, we take the matter of protecting our children seriously,” Ms Flores said.
In an interview on Wednesday (May 15) regional prosecutor Janet Grace Fabrero said that the case had taken so long due to Nolan’s diabetes, which had caused numerous cancelled court dates.
“The defence always asked for a postponement of the trial. Delay is attributed to the defence because accused is sickly including his counsel. No postponement from the prosecution from the very start,” she said.
Nolan is currently detained at Maa City Jail but is due to be transferred to Davao Penal Colony in Panabo City.
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