​Pedophile exposed | Phnom Penh Post

Pedophile exposed


Publication date
30 March 2001 | 07:00 ICT

Reporter : Phelim Kyne and Peter Wray

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Jon Keeler in prison bars

JON KEELER, the 56-year old former headmaster of Phnom Penh's London School of English

sentenced to a three-year prison term on Nov 20, 2000 for debauchery, has been revealed

as a life-long child sex abuser with multiple arrests and convictions throughout

the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Keeler was convicted following his arrest on Aug 26, 2000 for taking pornographic

video footage of four girls aged between eight and 10 years in a park in Takhmau.

The revelations will have no legal bearing on Keeler's upcoming appeal of his Cambodian


Keeler dismissed suggestions in a Nov 21, 2000 Post interview that he was a pedophile

and attributed the circumstances that led him to film the four young girls lifting

their dresses and fondling themselves as "spontaneous".

However a former UK victim of Keeler's, who has requested anonymity due to concern

for her own physical safety, told the Post that Keeler's child sex crime history

dates back almost four decades.

"Keeler's first pedophile offense was when he was 19 years old - indecent exposure

with intent to abuse - [and] his sexual offenses have included the possession of

obscene material with intent to publish," the victim said. "[These materials]

have included many videos of young girls, one specifically with girls urinating into

a bucket. To add to this he has been convicted of importing hard core pornography,

indecent assault on girls under the age of 13, gross indecency and publishing obscene

images. Most of these offenses have been committed several times."

According to the former victim, Keeler's educational background, which includes degrees

in both psychology and criminology, had until his Cambodian arrest and conviction

allowed him to elude the full brunt of legal repercussions for his child sex-related


"Keeler has had many arrests in many swimming pools all over England, mainly

resulting in a public order offense as he is fully aware that if he admits to bad

behavior then a public order offense is all that is given," the former victim

said. "When arrested he has been reported to be difficult to handle as he is

fully aware of his rights and makes false complaints."

The former victim justified contacting the Post with information about Keeler's past

crimes out of concern that Keeler would trick or bribe his way out of confinement

in Cambodia.

"...Keeler's whole life has been about manipulating everyone and everything

around him in order to satisfy his own twisted sexual appetite," the former

victim said. "His whole life has revolved around abusing young girls, so referring

to his case in Cambodia, I was quite horrified to read that he said he found the

girls' [whom he had filmed] behavior 'bizarre'."

The victim's allegations are supported by a March 11, 2000 article in Dublin's Evening

Herald newspaper obtained by the Post.

The Herald published a photograph of Keeler and described him as "an uncontrollable

and devious abuser...a [former] psychologist who now uses his professional training

to inflict maximum fear and compliance among the children he desires."

The article, entitled "The Evil Lure of the Puppetmaster" because of

Keeler's alleged modus operandi of abusing children through a traveling one-man theater

company complete with "puppet mice", stated that Keeler had shifted his

child sex activities to Ireland in 1999/2000 to avoid being listed on the UK's controversial

sex offender registry.

The Evening Herald listed a string of aliases that Keeler has been known to employ,

including John Crewdson, Alan John Brown, and John Casper Freeman.

"[Keeler] lives the part of the traveling artist, moving between towns and setting

up his children's theater, but as a front for his lurid activities," the article

states. "Once in his clutches he'll force them into his converted ambulance

or to a secluded area where he carries out truly depraved attacks."

According to the Evening Herald, Keeler's activities in Ireland became so notorious

that he was eventually placed under close surveillance by Irish police during his

"frequent visits" to Ireland.

The Herald's account of Keeler's child sex activities in Ireland and the UK were

corroborated by a spokesperson for End Child Prostitution, Abuse and Trafficking

(ECPAT) International.

The ECPAT spokesperson confirmed that Keeler was "well-known to law enforcement

authorities in Ireland" under the alias John Casper Freeman. Although Keeler

has no record of child sex convictions in Ireland, ECPAT confirmed that Keeler has

had convictions for pedophile offenses in the UK.

"[Keeler] has a preference for young girls...he used to live in and drive around

in a converted ambulance," the ECPAT spokesperson said. "He would attract

children by selling toys, puppets and small objects. He speaks with a northern English

accent and appears to be well-educated."

The British Embassy in Phnom Penh was unable to officially confirm allegations of

Keeler's past history of child sex crimes in the UK, citing "reasons of confidentiality"

regarding personal information about British subjects.

However an informed source close to the Keeler case told the Post that the British

authorities were well aware of Keeler's background.

"There is recognition that he had a history of [sex crimes] in the UK,"

the source said.

When confronted with the contents of the Evening Herald article on March 24 at Prey

Sar prison where he is confined, Keeler confirmed that he had operated a "puppet

mice" traveling performance show in Ireland out of a converted ambulance.

He denied the article's allegations of pedophile activities in Ireland, but conceded

that he had experienced "unexplained harassment" by Irish police.

After initially denying having committed any pedophile offenses prior to his Takhmau

arrest, Keeler later admitted that he did have a record of child sex crimes in the

UK. However he insisted that his pedophile activities had not inflicted suffering

or trauma on any of his victims.

"I have been arrested for those kinds of [pedophile] charges in England, but

I'm not a dangerous man," he said.

"I've never made anyone cry."

Keeler's sister Mavis Roper, who recently forwarded a request to the Cambodian government

to allow her to pay an unspecified "fine" to buy his freedom denied any

knowledge of her brother's child sex activities.

"I have had very little contact with [Keeler] during my lifetime and know nothing

of the crimes he is being accused of in the Dublin paper, nor do I know much about

what happened in Cambodia," Roper, who owns a Manchester modeling agency, told

the Post by email.

"I am shocked and devastated by the [revelations] and find this news very hard

to believe. Due to the serious nature of these allegations I do not feel I should

make further comment until I have more information."

Keeler's former UK victim expressed fear that upon his release Keeler would continue

to sexually abuse children.

"I am 100% sure that Keeler will re-offend until the day he dies. As I have

said before, that is all his life is about," she said.

"I am confident that he has his next plan up his sleeve already. I don't think

that it is a coincidence that he ended up in Cambodia and Dublin."

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