A former United States Diplomat is asking a Virginia judge for leniency after being charged for possession of child pornography in April.
GonsÂ G. Nachman, age 42, a former Consular Officer, had recorded various sexual acts with young girls between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. Nachman admitted in court that he did have sexual relations with the girls who appeared on the tapes, but he argues that varying cultural practices make sex with underage girls “ok” in certain cases.
“In the Congo, women develop quickly, both physically and emotionally, due to the substantial responsibility society places on them from early childhood,” Nachman wrote in a letter from his jail cell. Nachman claims that, because of these “cultural differences,” his sexual relationships with underage Brazilian girls are acceptable.
A judge has ordered that Nachman be assessed by distinguished Forensic Psychologist Stanton Samenow. Samenow is well-known for working under former President Ronald Reagan and now operates a private practice in Virginia, where Nachman’s trial is being held.
A lawyer for the defense stated that the conditions of Nachman’s sentence will depend on the outcome of Samenow’s evaluation.
Prosecutors argue that Nachman is attempting to downplay the seriousness of his actions by claiming that the young Brazilian girls were less worthy of protection and respect because they were not American citizens. They are requesting a 20-year prison sentence for Nachman, which is the maximum under the law.
The Nachman case has been quite bizarre from the very beginning. Nachman had ties to the nudist community, even participating in several protests and demonstrations in the 1990′s while attending the University of Pennsylvania law school. Nachman claims that the government did a thorough background check prior to receiving a security clearance.
In addition to ties to the nudist community, Nachman was also rumored to have “pressured” women visa applicants for sex while living in Brazil. Nachman denies these allegations.
Despite the seriousness of his charges, Nachman requested that the sentencing judge perform a legal marriage ceremony in court before his sentence was handed down for himself and his Brazilian fiancee, who is half his age. Nachman’s request was rejected.
Nachman will be back in court on August 22, 2008 for his sentencing.
Related article courtesy of MSNBC.com.
Nicolette Kuff is a freelance writer from Upstate NY.