Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deported US sex offender facing charges back home

Deported US sex offender facing charges back home

Deported US sex offender facing charges back home

A deported American orphanage director and convicted child abuser will once again be prosecuted today, this time in the United States for charges of molesting an underage Cambodian boy.

Daniel Stephen Johnson, 36, was indicted by the US this month while serving a yearlong sentence for sexually abusing five Cambodian boys under his care at Hope Transitions, an unlicensed Christian orphanage.

At the behest of the US Embassy, the self-proclaimed missionary was handed over to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and deported after completing his sentence on Tuesday, immigration officials said.

Johnson now faces charges in Oregon state of “engaging in illicit sexual conduct”, specifically having sex with an underage boy in Cambodia between November 2005 and October 2006.

It is unclear whether Johnson had been running his orphanage at that time, or whether the victim was one of the boys in the case against him in Cambodia.

“He had been coming in and out of Cambodia for a very long time,” said Uk Haisela, of the Interior Ministry’s Immigration Department.

Johnson’s arrest was prompted by an FBI tip.

“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,” according to child protection NGO Action Pour les Enfants (APLE), which assisted in the investigation.

According to media accounts in Oregon, upon returning from a trip to Asia in 2002, Johnson was arrested under allegations he molested his foster nephews. The charges were dropped after the boys recanted testimony their biological mother and her boyfriend had also raped them. The teenagers claimed their foster grandfather had coerced them into providing fake accounts against their mother, but continued to maintain allegations against their uncle.

During the investigation in Cambodia, Johnson claimed that APLE had fabricated the charges and bribed the families of his accusers. The five boys who initially reported being abused ultimately withdrew testimony or changed their story.

Johnson was still found guilty and given the minimum sentence in June. If found guilty in Oregon, he could spend up to 30 years in prison.

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