Raheem “Shano” Creque, a 36-year-old St. Thomas resident, was arrested Tuesday and charged with enticing and coercing a minor to engage in sexual activity "through use of a facility of interstate commerce" – to be specific, the online social network site Facebook – United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe’s office announced Thursday.
Creque appeared in District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Wednesday and was ordered to be held without bail pending trial.
According to the criminal complaint filed in District Court, Creque first contacted the minor when she was 15 years old and told her that he had a sexually explicit video of her. He told her he would post it on Facebook unless she had sex with him.
The criminal complaint says she began receiving text messages from Creque in December. In them, he reiterated the threat to release the video if the minor did not have sex with him. The minor begged Creque not to release the video, Sharpe’s office said, but later complied with Creque’s demands and was then sexually assaulted by Creque.
During the sexual assault, Creque took a picture of the minor, which he used to further extort her by threatening to post it on Facebook.
If convicted of the offense charged in the criminal complaint, Creque faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the Virgin Islands Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.
Suspected child exploitation or missing children cases can be reported to the Homeland Security Investigations tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or online at: http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp, or to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-202-514-5678.
In breaking news Thursday afternoon, St. Thomas Warden Gilbert David announced Creque’s escape from the V.I. Bureau of Corrections’ Criminal Justice Complex (see related link below).