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  1. ITV Report

Ex-choirmaster accused of child sex offences loses fight against US extradition

Roger Giese allegedly molested a boy aged under 14 when working as a voice coach for the All-American Boys Chorus 20 years ago (Lauren Hurley/PA) Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

A former choirmaster accused of child sex offences in California has failed in a High Court bid to block his extradition to the US.

Roger Giese, who is in his forties and was born in America, staged a human rights challenge in the High Court after his extradition was ordered last year.

He challenged his extradition at a hearing in London in May, with his lawyers arguing there was an “abuse of process” after an earlier attempt to extradite him failed.

They also said that, if convicted, it is likely he would suffer violence at the hands of other prisoners and would be subject to a “civil commitment” at the end of his sentence – which would breach his human rights.

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But his appeal was rejected by two senior judges, who said the second set of extradition proceedings did not amount to an abuse of process.

Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, sitting with Mr Justice Dingemans, said: “The underlying consideration is the strong public interest in upholding our international obligations and delivering for trial those accused of serious criminal wrongdoing.

“A strong feature of this case is that the appellant is a classic fugitive from justice – he broke his bail conditions and fled the jurisdiction.

“The offences for which he is wanted are serious.”

Giese is wanted in Orange County, California, after allegedly molesting a boy aged under 14 when working as a voice coach for the All-American Boys Chorus 20 years ago.

Lawyers say the case has a lengthy history and High Court judges have previously blocked extradition on human rights grounds.

In August 2017 a judge ruled that Giese, who has lived near Southampton, could be extradited and said Home Office ministers should decide what to do.

The Home Office then ordered his extradition in October.