RA 7610: Danish man arrested for taking underage girl to holiday resort

RA 7610
The Dane is now in custody as charges are prepared against him under Republic Act 7610

A Danish man has been arrested under RA 7610 for allegedly taking an underage girl to a resort in Compostela town.

Josef Bertelsen, aged 66, was apprehended at the resort yesterday (Wednesday, November 1) after a member of staff called Compostela Police Station.

Bertelsen reportedly met the girl and her sister in a mall in Cebu City before going to the beach resort in Compostela.

The Danish man is now being held by police pending the filing of an Anti-Human Trafficking in Person complaint against him.

Under Philippine law, any situation in which minors are in the company of an older, unrelated, person is considered prima facie evidence of trafficking and abuse of minors.

Under RA 7610 or the law on the special protection of children against abuse, exploitation, and discrimination, it is illegal for “any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, 12 years or younger or who is 10 years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar place” unless there are family ties or some other legal bond or obligation involved.

In May, we reported a similar case in which a 40-year-old veteran was facing human trafficking and child abuse charges after being caught with two underage girls at a beach resort on Bantayan Island, Cebu.

Jason Stone, aged 40, pleaded to the charges against him. He remains in custody facing trial.

Also, in September 2015, we reported how another Danish man had been arrested under RA 7610, but this time for being with a 16-year-old girl at Cebu City bus terminal. Schibbye Peter Sten, aged 53, also denied the charge against him. His fate as of this date is unknown.

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Publication date: November 2, 2017