U.S. Prosecutes “Sex Tourism” Cases


Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Megan DiPatri built the case that led to an eight- year prison term for millionaire Pennsylvania businessman Andrew Mogilyansky for traveling to Russia and sexually assaulting three young teenagers brought to him from an orphanage, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, estimates that 948,000 children each year are trafficked in the sexual-exploitation industry worldwide.

Some predators are wealthy men who travel abroad to have sex with children. Mogilyansky fits that profile: an entrepreneur with numerous businesses, including one that publishes the Russian Yellow Pages. About 25 percent of sex tourists come from the U.S. and Canada, says End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT). Sex tourism thrives on “the ease of travel and new ways of sharing information on the Internet,” said Carol Smolenski of ECPAT’s U.S. chapter. Many sex tourists respect the law at home, “but it feels like anything goes when they travel abroad,” she said.

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