If Denver Carolissen is tried and convicted there, he could be jailed for between 15 and 30 years, fined up to $250 000 (about R3.45 million), or both.
He was a data capturer for the City of Cape Town at one point and allegedly exchanged images of children with pedophiles in the USA.
Craig Wolff, an assistant United States Attorney for the state of Maine, said in an affidavit that their Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed crimes that started in 2010.
Carolissen allegedly sexually abused a young girl in South Africa in 2010 and 2012, and produced images of the abuse.
In 2014, he allegedly sent these and images of others minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to undercover HSI agents via the internet.
HSI agent David Fife detailed in an affidavit how undercover agents engaged with Carolissen, who used the pseudonym “Danielle Dickens”, in a chat room. He allegedly sent them numerous pornographic images and videos of minors.
In 2010, he received counselling from Stikland hospital for “habitually engaging with internet pornography”.
After his arrest in 2014, he raised the issue of his mental health. A full panel of mental experts subsequently found he was not mentally ill and not certifiable. The panel stated he was fit to stand trial and able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his alleged offences.
According to a psychiatric report he was 40 years old at the time, had been married for nine years, and had two young children.
The Kuils River Magistrate’s Court last year found he was liable to be extradited to the United States to stand trial in the Federal Court in Maine.
The charges effectively related to the production and dissemination of child pornography.
Carolissen’s lawyers argued at the time that he should be indicted to stand trial in Cape Town as the alleged offences, while an online matter, were initiated there.
According to the court record, it was suggested that he collected and possessed large quantities of child pornography on his office computer in Cape Town. His alleged victims were intimately known to him, or homeless children lured off the streets in the northern suburbs with promises of sweets and money.
Carolissen appealed the decision of the magistrate’s court that the offences were extraditable. The Western Cape High Court dismissed his appeal in May this year.
Judge Pat Gamble and Acting Judge Michael Donen said at the time they were astounded by the police’s failure to charge him.
They felt there had been no reason to “hold-off and play a ‘wait and see’ game” while the extradition proceedings followed their course.
After the high court ruling, he was sent to prison while the justice minister decided on his surrender to the USA.