CRAIG Thomas Carr, 59, made his initial appearance in US District Court in Seattle on Monday to face allegations that he had sex with underage girls in Cambodia, a case that is the result of a joint investigation by local and international law enforcement agencies.
The American is charged with travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and sexual exploitation of a child under the 2003 US Protect Act.
According to an affidavit filed by the Office of Investigations for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , Cambodian police arrested Carr on January 22 after being tipped off by French police in December.
He later admitted to engaging in sexual contact with three underage females, each of whom he believed was approximately 12 years old. Carr was accompanied back to the US by ICE agents on May 6.
John Johnson, spokesman for the US embassy in Phnom Penh, said Tuesday that the investigation was not conducted as part of Operation
Twisted Traveller – which is intended specifically to target US citizens who participate in the sex tourism industry in Cambodia – but rather as part of Operation Predator, an “ICE umbrella program which targets sexual child exploitation worldwide”.
“The success of Operation Predator and the arrest of Mr Carr is due to the excellent cooperation that exists between the Cambodian National Police, local NGOs and the US law enforcement community,” Johnson said.
Cambodian police officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.