After spending almost a year (not counting preventetion detention) for promoting sex tourism in Costa Rica, David Strecker, aka Cuba Dave, is a free man.

According to a report in, on Friday, August 18, 2017, Dave walked out of the La Reforma maximum prison in Alajuela, Costa Rica, after being acquitted by a trial court in San Jose.

David “Cuba Dave” Strecker posing with two sex workers. All photos courtesy of David Strecker

Dave, a U.S. citizen, is the first person ever convicted under Costa Rica’s 2012 ‘Sex Tourism Law’, which prohibits promoting, in all forms, the country a sex tourism destination.

Dave, the only person so far convicted under this ambiguous law, was convicted in November 2016, to five years in prison, ending speculation if he would ever be convicted and ever come of out preventive detention (remand).

Dave was arrested at the Juan Santamaria airport in September 2015 and as is customary for many foreigners, to remain behind bars while authorities complete their investigation and have enough evidence to go to trial. Since there is no specific time limit, the investigation could continue for years without ever filing any charges or a trial.

Cuba Dave escorted by judicial agents after being arrested at the San Jose airport

So, it was surprising, perhaps not for Dave, that the trial date came quick – in fact, the prosecution was ready months before November, but Dave did not have all his ducks in a row, requesting a continuance.

As per procedures, the prosecutor’s office has 15 days of the court decision that gave him his freedom, to appeal. Notwithstanding, even if the prosecution does not appeal, they can request another trial. And another. And another…there are no limits of as to how many times a person can be tried on the same charges.

The Anne Patton case is one such, after being found guilty (decision overturned) and acquitted, she now faces a fourth trial for the alleged murder of her husband, John Bender.

Dave, now 67 years of age, should leave Costa Rica as soon as he is ‘legally’ able to, in the same way, Anne Patton did.

According to, “when asked about his feelings on the case, Dave thanked the supporters who donated money to help with legal fees. He regrets missing his mother’s funeral, who passed away while he was in prison. He regretted that his friend Dennis Eaton also died of cancer. Dennis collected the donations via Paypal and brought food to Dave while he was imprisoned at the San Sebastian prison.”