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David Strecker aka “Cuba Dave” Wins Appeal, Says Website Bearing His Name

Q COSTA RICA – David Strecker, the man known as Cuba Dave and in a Costa Rica prison for promoting the country as a sex tourism destination, has won an appeal says a post on the website Cubadave.com published May 24, 1017 “by on Behalf of David Strecker”.

Screenshot of the Cubadave.com post

According to post, “Cuba Dave needs your help”, needing a place to stay if released from prison while the appeal progresses through the courts.

The website post says that “in the 40-page ruling the appellate court found serious legal flaws with both the decision of the lower court and evidence presented by the prosecution.”

The website said the decision by the Second Judicial Circuit of San Jose was made on Friday, it is assumed the Friday referred to is May 19, however, the Poder Judicial has made no announcement to that effect, nor is there any coverage on the mainstream Spanish-language media, such as La Nacion or Crhoy.com. Not even on the Diario Extra, the self-billed ‘most sold’ newspaper in Costa Rica known for its sensationalism.

The May 24, 2017, post on the website is the latest since August 2016.

The post says that, since Strecker has never lived in Costa Rica, “the court did not automatically grant a release from prison and it appears that Dave will remain in a Costa Rican prison, despite being completely innocent of the criminal charges against him.”

The website says that “although courts in Costa Rica commonly release their own citizens when cases go to appeal, the same protections usually do not apply to United States citizens (…)”, a fact that is not entirely correct. Preventive detention or “remand” is issued in the event a person has no ties to the community and/or is a flight risk.

The reason for the post seems to appear to be a please for help by anyone who is willing to give Strecker a roof while his appeal is pending. “In order to be eligible for release, Dave needs to a place to stay. Anyone who is willing to host Dave is encouraged to contact his attorney, at crclaw@gmail.com. Court rules require a private home, where the person hosting Dave has either a written lease or title to the property. The host would be asked to sign a statement, which Dave’s attorney would prepare and present, and may be asked to receive a phone call from the judge in the case.”

The Prosecutor’s Office is likely to appeal the appellate court decision, sending the case to the full court, the Corte Suprema (Supreme Court).

“If you or anyone you know in Costa Rica can help Dave with a place to stay, then please email his attorney Luis Diego Chacon at crclaw@gmail.com. You can also help with a donation, paid directly to his attorney by way of a deposit to Luis Diego Chacón Bolaños at Banco Nacional (Account No. 200-02-087-1555-6 and Cedula 107000666) in Costa Rica. Or please contact his attorney for international wire transfer instructions,” is the appeal made to readers of the post on Cubadave.com.

Strecker, from Florida, is a man who bragged of his many sexual encounters in Costa Rica and other countries in Latin America.

Strecker, the 66 years old, was convicted last November to five years prison on the single count of the promotion of Costa Rica as a sexual tourism destination, under a law passed in 2012, that calls for a prison term of four to eight years. The Prosecution had requested a 15-year sentence for promoting sex tourism on YouTube, Facebook and Cuba Dave postings on Ticaland.com.

The arrest of Strecker at the Juan Santamaria (San Jose) airport in 2015 and trial last year was based on a formal complaint filed with the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) by the Fundación Rahab (Rahab Foundation) – a local NGO combating human trafficking.

Prostitution (that does not involve minors) in Costa Rica is not a crime, however, the 2012 law does make it a crime for promoting the country as a sex haven for tourists.