Former Fargo priest accused of child sexual abuse extradited to United States

Published: Dec. 16, 2017 at 7:10 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A former Fargo priest charged with child sexual abuse in Cass County has been arrested in the Philippines and extradited to the United States.

The charges, filed against Fernando Laude Sayasaya in Cass County District Court in December 2002, allege the offenses took place between July 1995 and June 1997 for one victim, and June 1997 through August 1998 for another victim.

Sayasaya, who served as a priest in the Fargo Diocese from 1995 to August 1998, was removed from priestly ministry after allegations of abuse were reported.

A federal indictment was returned against Sayasaya for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Jan. 7, 2003, when he failed to return to the United States following a visit to the Philippines in 1998.

Sayasaya was ordered extradited by a court in the Philippines on Dec. 28, 2010, and appealed that order.

An appellate court in the Philippines upheld the extradition order on Feb. 29, 2012, and a warrant was issued after Sayasaya failed to appear on a summons.

Sayasaya was arrested in the Philippines on Nov. 19, 2017, and was transported to the United States by the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

The United States will dismiss the federal charges to allow Cass County to proceed with its charges.

“This successful extradition is a result of twenty years of relentless police work by Det. Greg Warren of the West Fargo Police Department and Philippine authorities," U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers said.

The case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Marshal’s Service, West Fargo Police Department, Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of Justice - Office of International Affairs, and law enforcement assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.