Man convicted in Cambodian sex tourism case

A onetime Southern California resident was found guilty Monday of traveling repeatedly to Cambodia to sexually assault impoverished children, four of whom testified to grueling sexual attacks that had jurors blinking back tears.

Delays kept the case against Ronald “John” Gerard Boyajian at a stalemate for seven years prior to the start of the month-long trial.

“This case is about a man who wanted to sexually assault children — and he found a place where he could do that,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Baehr-Jones said.

Boyajian traveled to Cambodia about three dozen times between 2002 and 2009, where he engaged in sexual activity with Vietnamese girls between the ages of 8 and 11 in a village outside Phnom Penh frequented by child molesters and known as “Kilo 11.”

One of the girls — now an adult working in Cambodia to help fellow victims of sexual predators — told jurors that Boyajian paid her grandmother to leave her alone with him in a wooden shack. She described being raped, beaten and bitten on the legs and calves by the defendant during multiple attacks.

The federal jury deliberated for about five hours before returning guilty verdicts on all three counts contained in a federal indictment initially handed down in September 2009.

Boyajian, who represented himself during the trial, seemed to nod his head as the verdicts were read, but otherwise showed no reaction.

“The United States is the world leader in civil rights, and if you are an American and you hurt a child — no matter where it takes place in the world -— you will be prosecuted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Herzog said outside court. “All children must be protected from sexual predators — and today’s verdicts confirm that.”

He faces up to 30 years behind bars, with sentencing tentatively set for June 13 by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder.

Boyajian, now 55, was among the first defendants charged under an international law enforcement initiative specifically targeting Americans traveling to Cambodia for the purpose of sexually abusing children.

Operation Twisted Traveler was an effort by the Justice Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to crack down on sex tourism.

Boyajian has been in custody in Los Angeles since his removal from Cambodia seven years ago. In the years since he was charged, Boyajian lodged a raft of motions and continuances, ensuring the case remained deadlocked.


Articles You Might Like

Sex Abuse Victim Finds Justice after Years of Waiting

In the afternoon of the 1st of October, 67-year old Briton David John Fletcher has been extradited from Thailand to Cambodia. On May 9, 2011 Presiding Judge Ke Sakorn at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Fletcher to 10 years in prison for rape and ordered Fletcher to pay 20 million riel compensation (approx. US$5,000)

Cambodians get 15 years for attempted baby trafficking

Yesterday, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted Cambodian nationals Heng Chhon and Sam Na to 15 years imprisonment each for unlawful removal for cross-border transfer. They were both arrested in November 2013 while trying to cross the border to Thailand with a seven-month-old baby and two disabled men who they intended to bring illegally to

Country manager for travel agency arrested for child exploitation

Today Australian national T.L., 65, from Sydney was arrested by the Anti-human Trafficking Police in Siem Reap on two charges of purchasing child prostitution from at least two underage girls and making child pronograpy. T.L. became subject of an investigation after the victims stated that he paid them to have sex with him and that

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email
Scroll to Top

Cookie Policy

We use cookies to personalize and improve your browsing experience. By clicking ‘Accept All’, you agree to  the policy.