Man guilty of child sex abuse

US mis­sion­ary faces at least 30 years’ jail for abus­ing Cam­bo­dian or­phans

The Star Malaysia - - World -

PORT­LAND: A US jury has found a Chris­tian mis­sion­ary from Ore­gon guilty of mul­ti­ple sex abuse charges for mo­lest­ing chil­dren liv­ing at an un­li­censed Cam­bo­dian or­phan­age that he op­er­ated in Ph­nom Penh over a pe­riod of years.

Daniel Stephen John­son, 40, was con­victed on Wed­nes­day of six counts of il­licit sex­ual con­duct in a for­eign place and one count each of travel with the in­tent to en­gage in il­licit sex­ual con­duct and ag­gra­vated sex­ual as­sault with chil­dren.

He faces a min­i­mum of 30 years in prison when sen­tenced in Au­gust in Eu­gene, Ore­gon.

US au­thor­i­ties said nine Cam­

bo­dian chil­dren rang­ing in age from seven to 18 had dis­closed John­son’s abuse in lengthy in­ter­views with trained child­foren­sic in­ter­view­ers.

The FBI launched an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter learn­ing of the case in 2013, the US At­tor­ney’s Of­fice in Port­land said.

“The de­spi­ca­ble na­ture of this de­fen­dant’s con­duct is be­yond un­der­stand­ing,” said Billy Williams, US at­tor­ney for Ore­gon.

John­son first mo­lested a child at the or­phan­age dur­ing a trip in 2005, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Lo­cal law en­force­ment is­sued a war­rant for his ar­rest in an un­re­lated mat­ter in 2013 in Lin­coln County, Ore­gon. He was lo­cated over­seas and his pass­port was re­voked based on the Ore­gon war­rant.

The FBI then part­nered with a non­profit that com­bats child ex­ploita­tion in Cam­bo­dia and the Cam­bo­dian Na­tional Po­lice to lo­cate John­son in Ph­nom Penh.

He was ar­rested in 2013 by Cam­bo­dian au­thor­i­ties and in­dicted the next year in the United States on one count of en­gag­ing in il­licit sex­ual con­duct in a for­eign place.

He was ex­tra­dited to the United States af­ter com­plet­ing a one­year prison sen­tence in Cam­bo­dia as US au­thor­i­ties built their case.

While in cus­tody, John­son tried to tam­per with wit­nesses and con­tact his vic­tims on­line, brib­ing them with gifts and prom­ises of money to change their tes­ti­mony, the US At­tor­ney’s Of­fice said. — AP

The de­spi­ca­ble na­ture of this de­fen­dant’s con­duct is be­yond un­der­stand­ing. Billy Williams

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