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PA man is 2nd person convicted under decades-old federal torture law

A Stroudsburg man was sentenced to 70 years in federal prison on Monday for directing and participating in the torture of an employee overseas.

Ross Roggio, 55 — who was also convicted of illegally dealing weapons parts — was the second person to be convicted of torture since the federal torture statute went into effect in 1994, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to court records, Roggio was managing a project to build a factory for weapons production in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. One of Roggio’s employees raised concerns about the project and, to prevent interference, Roggio arranged for Kurdish soldiers to abduct the employee to a military compound.

There, Roggio choked the victim with a belt, threatened to cut off one of his  fingers, and directed the soldiers to repeatedly beat, choke, tase and otherwise physically and mentally abuse the victim over 39 days.

Roggio was charged in a 37-count indictment in 2018 with illegally exporting firearms parts and tools from the United States to Iraq as part of the weapons project. The torture charges were added in 2022. He was convicted in May.

“No matter where such deplorable acts occur, the United States is committed to holding the perpetrators accountable,” said Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Roggio exported firearms parts and tools without the required approvals by the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. He also illegally trained foreign citizens in the operation, assembly, and manufacturing of M4 automatic rifles.

“The sentence imposed by the Court demonstrates the seriousness of Ross Roggio’s crimes and brings some measure of justice for his torture victim,” said U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam of the  Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“Violence against the dignity and human rights of any victim cannot be tolerated and our  office will continue to prioritize and pursue those who would do so in violation of federal law,” Karam said.

Source: Berkshire mont

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