Ah, the simple pleasures, the untold luxuries of being a diplomat. It is amazing the rather lowly international diplomatic positions that allow one a host of immunities from law. Certain diplomats cannot be arrested, cannot be cited for traffic violations, and so on. Even so, as if this weren't enough, there is almost always that one crazy guy that has to take it to an entirely new level. In that sense we should be thankful to Gonas G. Nachman, 42, a now ex-diplomat living in Alexandria, Virginia, for allowing the rest of us a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of a psyche gone-wild.
Nachman had been a Consular Officer, whatever that is, serving in the Congo and Brazil. He was just convicted of having sex with teenage girls while there, and now, in an effort to keep himself out of jail, he has offered what may be the worst excuse ever for his actions. He pleaded guilty in April to possessing child pornography after admitting that he had sex with 14 - 17 year-old girls and documenting the encounters in pictures and videos. The judge in the case has allowed a delay in sentencing so that Nachman may be examined by noted forensic psychologist Stanton Samenow. Nachman's attorney, Stephen Stine, suggested that cultural differences led Nachman to believe that these sexual encounters were acceptable.
In a letter that Nachman wrote from jail and sent to the director of the Foreign Service, begging him to intervene and try to have the charges dropped, Nachman explained his "thinking" regarding his actions. "In the Congo, women develop quickly, both physically and emotionally, due to the substantial responsibility society places on them from early childhood. In Kinshasa, the vast majority of teenagers are sexually active with older men..." Well, Gonas, why didn't you say so in the first place? Sorry we inconvenienced you, we had no idea that there was a cultural factor that made it "O.K." Let's get this in the "Vacation-Brazil" brochures as soon as possible. Prosecutors flatly rejected the notion that Nachman's victims deserved less protection because they were not born or raised in America. Also, Nachman was less than forthcoming about some other aspects of this case.
Consider this. There were allegations that Nachman pressured attractive visa applicants in Brazil for sex. He even admitted that he had sex with two women he met during the visa application process. Remember, this is the guy who gives the thumbs up or thumbs down to your visa application, or perhaps another body part goes up or down, but you're at his mercy for your visa approval. Sounds like this guy had quite a run as Consular, huh?
And there's more, if you can take it.
The other odd twist in Nachman's trial was the revelation of his long-standing in the nudist community. Apparently, while attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990's, Nachman, or "Nacho" as I like to call him, led several public demonstrations advocating nudity. He now claims he was unfairly targeted because of his "well-known affinity for the nudist lifestyle." Oddly enough, State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson offered no comment when asked if a history of nudity would be an impedance in securing a security clearance during the State Department hiring process. If the proof is in the pudding, a poor choice of words, I know, then the answer is a resounding "guess not."
Not to be outdone by any future pedophile-ambassadors, Nachman also requested of his sentencing judge, that the judge also perform a wedding ceremony between Nacho and his 21 year-old Brazilian fiancÚ. Nacho said that he doubted he would be able to marry once he was transferred to the Bureau of Prisons. U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee rejected the request, telling Mr. Nacho that "there is a time and a place for everything. The Court finds that sentencing is neither the time nor the place for a wedding". Well said, Judge. And while our pal Nacho who did such a fine job representing America while overseas may not be able to get "married" while in jail, I'll bet there'll be no shortage of "honeymoons". At least I hope not.