Hampshire & Isle of Wight

US alleged paedophile Roger Giese set for extradition

Roger Giese Image copyright PA
Image caption Roger Giese is accused of sexually abusing a boy and is wanted for trial in California

An alleged paedophile who was on the FBI's most wanted list can be extradited to the USA, a judge has ruled.

US national Roger Giese, 42, is wanted for trial in California, charged with sexually abusing a boy under the age of 14 between 1998 and 2002.

His counsel had argued conditions in US prisons and an extended custody threat meant he should not be sent back.

The Secretary of State will now make a decision on the case.

District judge Margot Coleman said she had thought a "great deal" about the case before ruling against Mr Giese at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Image copyright FBI
Image caption The FBI previously issued an appeal for information on Mr Giese's whereabouts

Mr Giese emptied his bank account and fled to the UK on the eve of his trial in 2007, leaving his family behind.

He is wanted in Orange County after allegedly befriending the child when working as a voice coach for the All-American Boys Chorus in 1998.

As well as child sex offences, US Federal authorities also issued a warrant for Mr Giese's arrest on a charge of "unlawful flight to avoid prosecution".

The married former choirmaster was eventually traced to a Hampshire village where he was living under a different name, working for a PR company, and cohabiting with a woman who knew nothing of his true identity.

Since 2014, a series of extradition battles have been fought after the Home Office certified a request from the US.

Mr Giese's removal was previously blocked by High Court judges on human rights grounds.

He will have 28 days in which to appeal once the Home Secretary has decided whether to accept the district judge's ruling.

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