Americans who pay children for sex in foreign countries can be prosecuted in the
United States, a federal appeals court has ruled. Michael Lewis Clark, 71, a
military veteran, was the first person charged under the Protect Act for having
paid for sex with minors in Cambodia. He had been sentenced to 97 months in
prison for soliciting sex from two Cambodian boys aged 10 and 13, but appealed,
arguing that US jurisdiction did not reach overseas.
However, the US 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals said Congress' constitutional authority to regulate
commerce with foreign countries allows for the prosecution of Americans on
underage sex tours abroad because they pay for sex.