PALIKIR, Pohnpei—The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is aware that a consultant to the Government, Mr. Rob Solomon, who serves as the Nation’s macroeconomist, had recently been arrested based on criminal information that was filed at the Pohnpei Supreme Court. To the knowledge of the FSM National Government, obtained through publicly available documentation via Pohnpei Supreme Court’s case numbers 2021-00778 and 2021-00999, Mr. Solomon is facing multiple criminal charges, and/or allegations, inclusive of charges of trafficking in persons, sexual servitude of a minor/s, criminal solicitation, prostitution, sexual abuse, and kidnapping, among others.
The FSM National Government’s Executive Branch, in its respect of the separation of powers and deference to the State Government within which Mr. Solomon has been charged, has no formal comments to make regarding Mr. Solomon’s innocence or guilt, which shall be determined in a court of law. Mr. Solomon is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, the National Government’s Executive Branch, in its respect of the gravity of the charges and allegations, has immediately and indefinitely suspended Mr. Solomon from his duties under his consultant’s contract with the FSM National Government, which will result in termination if he is found guilty of any of the charges against him.
“In July 2019,” His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the FSM, said in a statement, “At the first Anti-Human Trafficking Conference, I declared the theme of ‘Through collaboration and unity, we can combat human trafficking in the FSM.’ I noted that if persons come to the FSM to exploit our youth, that they have come to the wrong country. In September 2019, through a Presidential Order, the Panuelo-George administration created the Division of Anti-Human Trafficking at our Department of Justice. In my inaugural address, I reaffirmed our Nation’s commitment to the international rules-based order. We recently joined the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and part of the reason to do so is to help ensure that the FSM plays a responsible role in its own national security, as well as regional and international security. To say it out loud: that includes the right of children to be free from any form of abuse or suffering, at the hands of any person or persons, or any organization.”
“I have full faith and confidence in the Pohnpei State Government to conduct its work fairly and appropriately, and I equally have full trust and confidence in the judicial branches at both the National and State levels to fulfill their duties to the highest degree of honor in the search for truth and the delivery of justice. I have no comments to make regarding Mr. Solomon at this time, though I note he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I can however categorically guarantee that, as of today, his employment with the National Government is suspended pending the resolution of his cases.”
“The first main idea I want to make clear is that the children of our country cannot be exploited by any person or organization. The second main idea I want to make clear is that the Government, which is comprised of people, is imperfect; we need your help, the People of the FSM, in gathering information, so that we can take the right action for our country. Our national reticence to speak out when we see wrongdoing can prolong harm; I encourage you all, that if you see something, to please also say something. There is never shame in being a victim of abuse, but there is always shame in abusive behavior itself. Speaking up takes courage, but it is a brave and important act that all men and women, and all boys and girls, should feel confident to take because it is the right thing to do. No one should ever feel fear, and no one should ever be harmed, when they reside on or visit our shores, least of all our children.”