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Tuesday, 19 March, 2002, 09:35 GMT
NI police helping in US child sex case
Chicago skyline
Mr Mallon was arrested in Chicago
United States federal prosecutors have contacted police in Northern Ireland as they prepare a case against a Belfast man facing sex charges in Chicago.

Stan Mallon was arrested at a hotel in the US city on 8 March.

He is accused of arranging a meeting at the hotel on the internet with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Assistant US Attorney Markus Funk said a file was being prepared on Mr Mallon's background with the help of detectives in Northern Ireland.

Mr Mallon was a consultant to the Ulster Scots Agency.

We will indict Mr Mallon and after the indictment, a district judge will be appointed to the case and will set a trial date

Marcus Funk
Assistant US Attorney

Mr Funk said the US Attorney's Office was contacted by the postal service on 6 March about a number of emails posted in chatrooms.

He added: "At that point we started to make a criminal complaint, looking at the various emails that were sent."

"On 25 March we will be going back to court. The government is seeking to detain Mr Mallon as a 'flight risk' and Mr Mallon's friends and family may seek to post bail.

"After that we will indict Mr Mallon and after the indictment, a district judge will be appointed to the case and will set a trial date," said Mr Funk.

"I would anticipate that the trial date would not be any time within the next four or five months."

He said the judge had not granted bail, but there was always the possibility that bail could be granted.

Mr Funk said he understood Mr Mallon's family was either in the United States or preparing to travel there.

St Patrick's week

On Monday, the chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency said he did not think the arrest would damage the agency's work in the US.

Lord Laird said he was shocked to hear that Mr Mallon had been arrested.

He wasn't in Chicago on Ulster Scots business, he was a part-time consultant with us

Lord Laird
Ulster Scots Agency

When Mr Mallon turned up at a Chicago hotel he was arrested by officers from Cook County Sheriff's child exploitation unit.

It is understood Mr Mallon had stopped in Chicago as he travelled to a St Patrick's week celebration in Washington.

Northern Ireland Culture Minister Michael McGimpsey, whose department jointly runs the Ulster Scots Agency, said Mr Mallon had been employed on a temporary basis.

"I'm aware that a legal process is under way in America and we must allow due process to take its course," he said.

'Totally devastated'

Lord Laird, who is an Ulster Unionist peer, confirmed Mr Mallon had been in the United States to attend receptions in Washington as part of the St Patrick's week celebrations.

He said he realised something was wrong when he arrived in Washington and Mr Mallon was not there.
Lord Laird:
Lord Laird: "Informed by British officials"

"He wasn't in Chicago on Ulster Scots business. He was a part-time consultant with us," he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster on Monday, Lord Laird said: "I was informed by British officials about what had happened.

"Mr Mallon was a part-time consultant who was helping us with administrative activities - some of which would be involved as acting as an interim chief executive while we appoint a full-time one."

Ulster Scots Chairman Lord Laird:
"He was a part-time consultant"
BBC NI's Shane Glynn:
"Stan Mallon flew to the United States last weekend"
See also:

18 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
Agency chief 'shocked' at arrest
03 Jan 01 | Northern Ireland
New Ulster-Scots institute
11 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Research boost for universities
19 Dec 99 | Northern Ireland
Cash boost for Ulster Scots
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