Federal authorities say a man living in Lynn allegedly sexually abused teenage boys while he was a teacher in Laos in recent years, according to a statement released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.
Michael Sebastian, 52, faces charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and sex trafficking of children, the statement said.
He was detained pending a detention and probable cause hearing set for Monday. Authorities say Sebastian was living in Lynn with his mother when he was arrested Tuesday.
Sebastian was living in Laos and teaching English to Laotian children, according to the statement. For at least the last two years, Sebastian allegedly allowed at least three boys, ages 13-18, to live with him. Instead of paying him rent, Sebastian let the boys perform chores, which included giving him massages and performing sex acts on him, prosecutors said.
Sebastian made an initial appearance in federal court in Boston on Wednesday and was detained pending a detention and probably cause hearing set for Monday.
He faces up to 30 years in prison, five years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for the charge of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The charge of sex trafficking of children carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, five years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was brought as part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to “combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse,” the statement said.