Mountain Top Pilot Faces Deportation Over Abuse Case

January 25, 2019
Mountain Top Pilot Faces Deportation Over Abuse Case

WILKES-BARRE — A Mountain Top pilot who pleaded guilty to corrupting a minor after being accused of fondling a young girl is now facing possible deportation.

Jostein Brakvatne, 56, of Fairview Twp., is being held at the Pike County Correctional Facility on an immigration detainer placed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The agency’s online detainee locator says Brakvatne was born in Norway.

ICE places detainers on immigrants arrested in criminal cases when agents have “probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States,” according to the agency’s website.

The status of Brakvatne’s case was not immediately clear Friday. ICE officials said no one was available to answer questions.

“All of ICE’s public affairs officers are out of the office for the duration of the government shutdown,” agency spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea wrote in an email. “We are unable to respond to media queries during this period because we are prohibited by law from working.”

Brakvatne pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of corrupting a minor in June after the girl alleged he had been touching her inappropriately starting when she was in the fifth grade.

The girl’s older stepsister told investigators Brakvatne drank a lot and had, on a few occasions, told her she was beautiful while kissing and licking her face, according to prosecutors.

Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas sentenced Brakvatne in September to three years in the Intermediate Punishment Program, which allows offenders to remain out of prison under strict guidelines and conditions.

Brakvatne, an airline transport pilot, was ordered to contact his probation officer daily and report his flight schedule for the first six months of his sentence.

Court records indicate Brakvatne was jailed in Pike County on the immigration detainer in December.

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