NH National Guard Officer Charged In Underage Sex Trafficking Case
HOUSTON (AP) — An operations officer with the New Hampshire National Guard will remain jailed on charges stemming from an evening in San Antonio last year when he and two others allegedly hired an underage female escort.
A federal magistrate judge in Syracuse, New York, denied bail last week to Lt. Col. Raymond Valas.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks contends there was no evidence that, if released, Valas would not present a danger “by his continued involvement with child sex trafficking and efforts to seek opportunities to sexually abuse minors,” according to court documents.
Valas told police he was unaware the prostitute, allegedly hired in August, was underage, according to the grand jury indictment from May 7 and the judge’s detention ruling from May 23.
The judge also said he felt Valas could present a flight risk because of a recent trip he made to Canada, and was concerned about him returning to live in a home in which two minors reside, according to the documents.
Valas’ attorney, John A. Convery, did not immediately respond to calls or emails from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Convery told the San Antonio Express-News that pretrial services staff in Syracuse had recommended Valas be released on $25,000 bail. He said he hopes to argue for Valas to be released in a hearing in San Antonio, which has not yet been scheduled.
New Hampshire National Guard spokesman Greg Heilshorn confirmed Valas’ rank and title.
Valas has no prior criminal record. Court documents did not provide a place of residency for Valas.
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