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Cuba deports U.S. fugitive charged with sex crimes

| June 16, 2008 at 09:24 am

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — The Cuban government has handed over to U.S. authorities a California man facing federal child sex crime charges, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Leonard B. Auerbach, 61, an Orinda, California, mortgage broker, was deported Friday to the United States, the ministry said in a statement.

Auerbach was believed to have entered Cuba on April 8. He was detained May 7 at the request of American officials.

Auerbach faces charges of child sex tourism and possession of child pornography and was named to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s list of most wanted fugitives in April. Authorities said he traveled to Costa Rica about 40 times between 2003 and 2007, where he allegedly engaged in sex with a preteen girl.

Police executing search warrants found computers and thumb drives featuring pictures of Auerbach “with a minor female in various stages of undress” as well as sexually explicit photos of the girl, an ICE statement said, citing court documents.

Such cooperation is unusual — but not unheard of — between Cuba and the United States. No extradition treaty exists between the two nations.

The government of Cuba said it deported Auerbach because of its commitment to combating sex crimes.