American convicted child sex offender Daniel Johnson was deported back to the United States on 22 December 2014 after finishing his one-year imprisonment sentence in Cambodia. The deportation occurred under custody of the FBI and was ordered by the Ministry of Interior in Cambodia.
Johnson was arrested in 2013, after a joint operation by the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department and the FBI, which was assisted by child protection organization APLE. Johnson, who was operating for about ten years as a Christian missionary in Cambodia, was running an orphanage in Phnom Penh, providing him with easy and direct access to children. After his arrest, five boys in the orphanage testified they had been sexually abused by him. The Cambodian court sentenced Johnson to one year imprisonment for committing indecent act against minors below 15 years of age.
Johnson was wanted in the United States for similar sexual crimes against children committed in 2000 and 2001. Among others, he is suspected of having sexually abused the children of his sister. Separate further investigations by APLE brought to light suspicious activities of Johnson committed while being connected to the Orphanage in Meanchey’s Boeung Tompun commune.
Despite the disappointment with Johnson’s light sentence in Cambodia, APLE welcomes the decision of the Interior Ministry’s Immigration Department to deport Johnson. This is a clear signal and helps serve as deterrent for other criminals that Cambodia will not allow such crimes, and that perpetrators will not only serve time in prison, but also be deported afterwards.
APLE hopes that other countries, like the United States, will become more actively involved in the prosecution of their own sex offenders, which can ensure a great step forward in the protection of the most vulnerable children from sexual abuse worldwide.
Also reported by the Cambodia Daily, 24 Dec 2014