Thursday, September 3, 2009
Cambodia: US Charges 3 Sex Tourists With Abusing Children
They are the first to be charged under an international law-enforcement operation that targets U.S. citizens who travel to Cambodia for illicit sex. They could face 30 years in jail for each victim.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Three American men who are suspected of traveling to Cambodia to molest children have been charged in federal court as part of a new initiative aimed at cracking down on the child sex tourism business there, authorities said Monday.
Ronald Gerard Boyajian, 49, of Menlo Park, Calif.; Erik Leonardus Peeters, 41, of Norwalk; and Jack Louis Sporich, 75, formerly of Santa Monica and currently living in Sedona, Ariz., were arrested by Cambodian police in February, authorities said. They were recently expelled from the country and arrived Monday at LAX in the custody of U.S. immigration officials.
The three men, all previously convicted of sex offenses in the United States, were charged here in absentia earlier this year with traveling overseas for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors, a charge that could bring up to 30 years per victim, authorities said.
They are the first to be charged under an international law-enforcement operation dubbed "Twisted Traveler," specifically targeting American sex offenders who travel to Cambodia, a country that one U.S. immigration official said was "the world's ground zero for child sex tourists."
"These types of cases are disturbing not only because young, defenseless children were victimized in unspeakable ways," U.S. Atty. Thomas O'Brien said at a news conference Monday. "But also because the defendants went to such lengths to engage in their dark activities overseas."...
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