American in Cebu gets 12 years for child abuse, but he’s at large

Lian Buan
American in Cebu gets 12 years for child abuse, but he’s at large
Wayne Melbourne Littlefield remains at large after going into hiding while his case was being tried. Another suspect, Australian Norman Johnson Henry, is still at large and has not been tried in court.

MANILA, Philippines – A Cebu court on Friday, April 28, convicted an American found guilty of human trafficking and child abuse, though he is still at large.

Wayne Melbourne Littlefield was arrested in December 2011 in Cebu City after police were tipped off that he had in his hotel room two Filipina girls. One of the girls was identified as Michelle Ilayan who pimped a 13-year-old girl to the American.

Ilayan pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of attempted trafficking and has been in jail since 2015 serving a 15-year-imprisonment.

Littlefield was convicted for both charges of human trafficking and child abuse, getting 12 years for the latter in a decision promulgated on Friday by the Cebu Regional Trial Court Branch 24. (READ: For 1st time, PH meets US standards vs trafficking)

However, Littlefield remains at large after going into hiding while his case was being tried. The rules of court allow for a “trial in absentia” so long as the accused had been arraigned. In such cases, the accused is considered to have waived his right to present evidence.

International Justice Mission-Cebu (IJM), who handled the 13-year-old victim’s case, believes Littlefield was able to go back to the USA. (READ: Human trafficking 101: What trafficking is all about)

“We hope that American authorities track down and arrest Wayne Melbourne Littlefield and return him to the Philippines to serve his 12-16 year sentence.  That would be real justice for the victim in this case,” lawyer John Tanagho of IJM said in a statement.

For being found guilty of violating section 11 of the human trafficking act – which penalizes the engaging of services of trafficked persons – Littlefield was meted out with 6 months of community service. His community service will begin once he’d finished serving his sentence.

According to the court, the minor was duped by the pimp into buying something from a mall in Cebu City. She was later coerced into performing a sexual service for P700 on another man, Australian Norman Johnson Henry.

Henry went into hiding before he could be arraigned.

After he was done with the girls, Henry brought them to a restaurant to drink where they met Littlefield who offered P300 to the minor in exchange for a blow job. The personnel at Littlefield’s hotel tipped off authorities who were waiting for the American when they got out of the elevator.

IJM hopes this would serve as warning to foreigners who engage in prostitution in the Philippines, especially when the victim is a minor.

The US government recently provided the Philippines with a $3.5 million aid to help institutionalize judicial systems to fight child trafficking. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.