Albania: Briton jailed 20 years for child abuse

The Associated Press

Published: November 19, 2008

TIRANA, Albania: A court convicted a Scottish charity worker on Wednesday of sexually molesting children at his orphanage in Albania and jailed him for 20 years.

Reading the verdict against John David Brown, 57, of Edinburgh, Judge Gerd Hoxha described him as "a threat to society" and said he would be deported from Albania after completing his sentence.

Brown come to Albania in 1999 during the war in neighboring Kosovo, and two years later registered his charity organization, His Children. The shelter housed orphans and abandoned children found on Tirana's streets.

Brown was arrested in May 2006 and his orphanage was shut down.

In court, Hoxha read testimony from former orphanage residents who described being beaten and sexually abused by Brown and forced to sleep naked in his bed. The children said they had been threatened with expulsion if they told anyone about the abuse.

Authorities said at least seven children from the orphanage showed signs of sexual abuse following medical examinations.

Brown's lawyer, Gjystina Golloshi, said he would appeal the conviction on charges of committing sexual acts with children.

Two Englishmen who worked at the orphanage — Dino Christodoulou and Robin Arnold — also have been charged with sexually molesting children there, and they have been extradited to Albania to stand trial later.


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