The U.S. Federal Government has begun aggressively pursuing crimes committed overseas. It has expanded its reach from drugs, terrorism, human trafficking and into child sexual abuse. While the age of consent is usually at least 16 in most countries, most third world countries lack the funding or will to properly enforce these laws. As a result, an underground industry, “child sex tourism,” evolved as a way for individuals from wealthy countries to travel to poorer countries to commit crimes. This case demonstrates that the government is beginning to go after these individuals.
After a tip, the FBI investigated a man from Alaska for his alleged crimes committed in Cambodia. This particular individual held dual citizenship in the U.S. and Cambodia. He traveled at least a dozen times between Cambodia and the U.S. between 2010 and his arrest in 2013.
In March of this year, he was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for attempting to sexually exploit children in Cambodia.
The FBI was able to collect evidence from an undercover agent who interacted with the defendant. The defendant routinely discussed how to smuggle child pornography into the U.S., how to groom children for abuse and his ability to procure children for himself and the companions who travel with him.
At the time of his arrest, it appears he was planning another trip for himself and a few companions. Based on this evidence, they were able to convict him.
If you are facing child sexual abuse charges, you should probably speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Sexual assault charges of any type can mean serious consequences, including being placed on the publicly available sex offenders list. There are also a host of prejudicial assumptions and inferences that judges, police, prosecutors and juries draw regarding these charges. Don’t give up without putting up a vigorous defense. You are entitled to be treated fairly and to put your side of the story forward.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Alaska Man Receives Prison Term for Crimes Committed in Cambodia,” May 31, 2016