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Dec 7, 2009

US child molester gave chess lessons at 4 Belize City schools

Story PictureIn the other big story tonight, the long arms of the law caught up with Robert Snyder last Friday in Belize City. Snyder was intercepted when he made it on Americas Most Wanted List, a Television program aired on November twenty-eighth. The Colorado resident moved to Belize last September, less than a month after his release from a US prison. A well known chess instructor, he immediately set up shop and gained employment at various primary schools around the city. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has been following this story.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
After doing time in prison, Robert Snyder skipped his three years probation and fled to Belize. Under the alias Augustine Rios, he found work as a chess instructor because he was an established master in the United States who had The chess association in Belize said Snyder approached them but did not become a part of their organization.

David Martinez, President, Belize District Chess Assn.
“He came to us and identified himself as Augustine Rios. He told me that he was an instructor, he was living in England and came to retire in Belize. He was a chess master back in England and eventually he use to teach chess over there. He wanted to teach chess here since he was retired and he was doing it for money. He charged a big fee per hour, which we don’t charge. The association doesn’t charge, we do for promoting the game; not for money. We do it for kids to learn the game. He did it for business.”

A week ago, a Humming Bird Elementary School student saw Snyder on America’s Most Wanted and the child’s parent immediately informed the principal who then contacted the Commissioner of Police. It took a week to arrange for Snyder to be arrested because he hadn’t committed a known crime in Belize.

David Martinez
“When he came he seemed a little kind of suspicious because he didn’t want any media exposure. He told me that he had actually an ex-wife that was after him, that’s why he didn’t want any media exposure. So we discussed it within the association and we found something very suspicious. I went to the FIDA website to find his name, since he said he was a rated player. I didn’t find him under the name of Augustine Rios. So that’s why we actually distanced ourselves from him.”

Jose Sanchez
“Do you know if he was working with more than one school?”

David Martinez
“From my knowledge about four schools in Belize City. More of them are private schools that could actually afford to pay his service.”

Snyder formed chess clubs at a school in Ladyville, and for a period of time at St. Joseph Primary School and Bernice York Institute of Learning. The school manager said that Snyder only visited the school for two hours on Mondays and his sessions were always under the supervision of the Principal, Sherry Ali. Americas Most Wanted was arrested on December fourth. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Snyder was deported back to the United States earlier today.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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