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The BBC's Ian Haddow
"The FBI say he's a danger to children"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 27 December, 2000, 23:20 GMT
FBI targets paedophile suspect
Eric Rosser appears on the FBI's 'most wanted' list
Eric Rosser joins the FBI's 'most wanted' website
In the United States, a suspected child pornographer has been placed on the most wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the first time.

Eric Franklin Rosser, 48, a pianist who once played with the rock star John Mellencamp is accused of producing and distributing child pornography.

Today we are once again calling on the public to help

Janet Reno
US Attorney General
He was last seen in Thailand before failing to appear in court after police confiscated pornographic material from the music school he ran for privileged children.

Mr Rosser joins Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden - wanted in connection with the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania two years ago - on the FBI list.

Mr Rosser is wanted in connection with numerous offences including the production of a videotape in Thailand allegedly depicting him having sex with an 11-year old girl.

Police raid

"The FBI began to focus on Mr Rosser after recovering vast amounts of child pornography from one of his associates in the United States," said US Attorney General Janet Reno.

Thai child prostitutes
Child abuse is a huge problem in Thailand
Eric Rosser's whereabouts are unknown. Mrs Reno said: "We hope that will change."

The FBI is offering up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Mr Rosser was detained by Thai authorities on 9 February after a police raid on his apartment uncovered hundreds of explicit images of children.

However, he disappeared after being released on bail, and failed to attend a scheduled court hearing in Thailand on 18 April.

He has reportedly been sighted in Western Europe during the past few months.

Court indictments

Mr Rosser was indicted by a US federal jury in Indianapolis in March on six counts of producing and distributing child pornography.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted in Thailand, and up to 15 years jail plus a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the six US indictments.

The FBI has been increasingly focusing on crimes against children in the past few years, including those related to Internet pornography and international travel to abuse children.

Mr Rosser becomes the 460th person to be placed on the FBI list, replacing Arthur Lee Washington, who was on the list for 11 years.

Washington is still wanted for the attempted murder of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1989, but was removed because publicity from the list had done little in recent years to help capture him.

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See also:

20 Oct 00 | Europe
Sex 'tourist' gets seven years
15 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Asia's child sex victims ignored
08 Jun 99 | Americas
Bin Laden on FBI 'most wanted' list
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