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Ear to the Ground

American ‘Twisted Travelers’ Charged for Child Sex in Cambodia

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Posted on Sep 1, 2009
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The U.S. government is cracking down on American sex tourists who take trips to Cambodia to molest minors, an unfortunately common phenomenon in that country, with the new “Twisted Traveler” international law-enforcement initiative—and three U.S. citizens just became the first to find out what the changes mean for those who get caught.  —KA

Los Angeles Times:

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.

[...] “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.”

Although they were also charged in Cambodia for their alleged crimes, O’Brien said the sentences they face in the U.S. if convicted are “severely stronger.”

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By Cambodian Songs, May 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it particularly sad that people from developed countries are traveling to an impoverished country like Cambodia to prey on children.  Cambodians generally look up to foreigners, particularly Westerners, as role models for fairness, benevolence, freedom and justice.  The acts of the sex tourists are threatening to undermine the good deeds of those foreigners who are in Cambodia to do good.

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By Kay Johnson, September 2, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

“The open secret of cross Pacific ‘trade’ by American pedophiles has been going on for several decades.”—J.B.

A couple of years ago, I read a report that said that about 35% of people, who visit Cambodia, and other countries, to buy sex from children are from the United States. The same article pointed out that this country, the United States, makes up only 5% of the world population.

Outraged,

“Twisted Tourists is RIGHT.”

I’m certain that I saw the same documentary and it was very disturbing to me, too, as you wrote in your post.

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By Southern Gal, September 2, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Perhaps one part of this law should be that the person/people found guilty have to support the child/children that were abused for life. If the abusers have the money to go to Cambodia they have the money to support these children.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, September 2, 2009 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

Re: ChaoticGood

Your comment: So now a few pedo’s get caught and
we are really goin to hurt the slavery sex trade
worldwide aren’t we.”

We can do OUR PART, for one thing… and for another
consider this “a beginning”.  Every journey begins
with the first step.

Maybe to your way of reasoning… only a few might escape. 
To my way of reasoning, that’s saving at least ONE,
maybe more.  It is a positive and a MOVE in the right direction.

Of course, maybe you feel one is nothing…. maybe you should be that ONE.  Grow up.

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By ChaoticGood, September 2, 2009 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Of course the pedophiles are slimeballs, so whats new about that.

Of course, we should persecute them and make them live under bridges like trolls in fairy tales.

But what of the children?

They have nothing, only themselves for sale, if they cannot sell sex, then what?

Do they offer body parts next?

There are thousands of slaves around the world, many of them children.  We know that already, so catching a few felons and “throwing the book” at them will do nothing at all to stop the real problem.

There are more slaves now than at any time in history by some accounts.  Most of them are in India, one of our allies.  Why aren’t we shaming the Indians.  They seem to come here by the thousands looking for jobs.  We don’t chastise them for owning slaves in their home country, do we?

Do we arrest Haitian immigrants who commonly own slaves in Haiti.  Nope…why not?

How about our wonderful allies, the Saudi’s who commonly marry little girls as young as eight years old.  They often “rent” children and then return them as “virgins” by contract.  That is a real laugh, they rent children, rape them, and then return them to the parents, and they are miraculously re-virginized by law…LOL

So now a few pedo’s get caught and we are really goin to hurt the slavery sex trade worldwide aren’t we.

Shame on our ignorance and our short-sighted benighted do-gooder simpleton ways.

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By Outraged, September 1, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

Twisted Tourists is RIGHT.  Good, round ‘em all up.  How debased can you get?  I saw a documentary on this a while back, I don’t recall if it was Cambodia specifically but it was the identical issue.

Some were street kids (orphans)needing food, sometimes parents selling their children into “child sex shops” for food (money) or sometimes for drugs, others were kidnapped from rural villages.  These same sex shops frequently dumped these very young children (8-10 yrs) out in the street after a couple of “uses”, or because they were “problematic” according to their users/abusers.  According to this documentary, most “paying customers” didn’t like condoms (just one of the “reasons” for using a “pure” child).  For this reason, many of the children contracted STD’s, some lethal.  Children “fortunate” enough to be returned to their families were many times disowned because they weren’t “pure” or because they were “sick” and therefore considered useless/worthless.  These incredibly traumatized children then went from one abusive situation to another, and suffered the most unconscionable depravities.

It was traumatic to watch the documentary let alone attempt to imagine the reality.  Horrible.

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By J. B., September 1, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What was the Reagan, Clinton and Bush I & II Administration’s active policy of protecting our children from this horrific sexual physical and emotional abuse if these arrests are only now being made? The open secret of cross Pacific ‘trade’ by American pedophiles has been going on for several decades. For the expressed God and Country (or Progressive Centrist for Clinton) presidents, this lack of enforcement seems to be a carefully missed concern and a lost opportunity to protect the ‘already born’ children in their aggressive pro-moral agendas.

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