Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US gives pedo 210 years’ jail

US gives pedo 210 years’ jail

US national Michael Pepe is escorted by Cambodian police officers at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on June 21, 2006
US national Michael Pepe is escorted by Cambodian police officers at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on June 21, 2006. AFP

US gives pedo 210 years’ jail

Convicted pedophile Michael Pepe was sentenced in a US federal court on Friday to a prison term of 210 years – 30 years for each of his seven counts of sexually abusing young girls in Phnom Penh before his arrest in 2006.

A former US Marine captain, Pepe was extradited to the US in 2007 and was convicted in 2008 under a law that allows the US government to prosecute American sex offenders for crimes committed in other countries.

At the sentencing, US Federal Judge Dale Fischer noted that Pepe – who worked in Phnom Penh as a part-time university professor – had shown “no remorse”.

“He went to Cambodia because it was easy to molest little girls there,” Fischer said. “He raped and tortured them … while maintaining the facade of being interested in the education of Cambodian children.”

Fischer also awarded almost $250,000 in restitution to the organisations that cared for Pepe’s victims.

Pepe paid Cambodian Cheung Thysang a commission to provide him with three 10- and 11-year-old girls, whom he reportedly drugged, beat and raped. Thysang is currently serving a 20-year sentence for procuring the young girls.

Khoem Vando, of the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said yesterday that Pepe’s sentencing was encouraging, and called on other countries to take up the practice of extraditing and prosecuting their own nationals.

“I think that is a strong punishment, and it is a really strong message to deter [offenders] from coming to Cambodia,” Vando said.

“And it would be good if more countries would adopt extradition to try their own people. The punishment back home is almost always worse than the punishment here.”

In an unrelated case, British pedophile Ian Bower – who served two years in Cambodian prison on child sex charges, and was deported last month for lacking proper travel documents – was reportedly arrested and jailed in the UK on Friday for fleeing a halfway house in 2006 after completing a prison stint for sexually abusing children.

REPORTING BY AFP AND STUART WHITE

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all