San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. Citizen Sentenced For Child Sex Abuse

A U.S. citizen was sentenced thisweek to 154 years in a Costa Rican prisonfor sexually abusing children, representativesof the Judicial Branch confirmed thisweek.Scott Thomas Cochran, 39, was sentencedTuesday by the Penal Court of SanJosé for the production and distribution ofchild pornography, paying for sex withchildren and the infraction of a drug law.The sentence was reduced to 45 yearsunder a process of penalty reduction inaccordance with the Penal Process Code.Cochran was arrested in January 2003after a joint investigation by the SpecialProsecutor on Sex Crimes, child welfareadvocacy group Casa Alianza and CostaRica’s Child Welfare Office (PANI) (TT,Jan. 24, 2003).Cochran – who was sought by theInternational Police (Interpol) for similarcharges in the United States – had beenunder investigation in Costa Rica fornearly two years before he was arrested.A Costa Rican man was also sentencedto 25 years, reduced to 18, in conjunctionwith the case against Cochran.He was accused of the same crimes,minus the drug violation, and, accordingto the Judicial Branch, was responsible forbringing the children to Cochran. His sentenceis lighter because there were fewercounts of each crime against him.

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