RPCV Jesse Osmun pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Hartford yesterday to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children. The victims were 3 to 6 years old at the time.

“While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa, Mr. Osmun committed horrific, unforgivable crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “He was supposed to be helping young children in need, many of whom were orphans, but instead, he preyed upon them, sexually abusing several young girls under the age of six. He betrayed the Peace Corps and the children he had traveled to South Africa to help.”

Osmun faces up to 30 years in prison and restitution to his victims when he is sentenced Sept. 11. Under guidelines, he faces between 14 to more than 21 years.

Authorities say Osmun persuaded the children to engage in illicit sexual acts by playing games with them and providing them with candy

“I fully accept responsibility for my actions,” Osmun told the judge.

The Peace Corps has said it was made aware of the allegations after Osmun resigned.

“The crimes of this former volunteer are reprehensible,” said Aaron Williams in a statement Wednesday. “The Peace Corps has no tolerance for abuse of any kind, and our deepest sympathies are with all the victims involved.”

Williams went onto praise the investigation of the Peace Corps Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the South African Police Service.  “The Peace Corps is committed to ensuring that the children affected by these crimes receive proper care and treatment,” Williams also said.