Man Handed 18 Years for Child-Sex Tourism

A Cambodian-American man was sentenced to 18 years in jail in Alaska on Thursday for attempting to sexually exploit children in Cambodia and attempting to arrange a child-sex tourism trip, according to a statement released by the U.S. Justice Department on Friday.

Jason Jayavarman, 45, of Anchorage, was convicted of the crimes in March last year.

During the trial, evidence was presented showing that over the course of 12 trips to Cambodia between 2010 and his arrest in 2013, Mr. Jayavarman produced videos of himself engaging in sexual acts with a person he believed to be a child before sending the material back to the U.S.

Mr. Jayavarman—a former owner of a youth hostel in Alaska—was in the process of planning a group trip to Cambodia to sexually abuse children as young as 12, the Justice Department said, but was stopped after an anonymous tip-off to the organization Crime Stoppers sparked an undercover FBI operation.

“Trial evidence demonstrated that Jayavarman explained to one of the other potential travelers—who was an undercover FBI agent—how to groom a child for sex, avoid law enforcement detection and record high quality ‘mementos’ of the sexual abuse,” the statement said.

After identifying Mr. Jayavarman, the FBI contacted local child-protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) to help find his possible victims in Cambodia. Once APLE identified and located the victims, the FBI conducted interviews with them.

According to court documents cited by the KTVA 11 news outlet last year, following his arrest in August 2013, Mr. Jayavarman confessed to engaging in sexual acts with at least one young girl in Cambodia and justified the abuse by claiming that “it is cultural” in the country.

Neither APLE representatives nor officials from the Interior Ministry’s department of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection could be reached on Sunday regarding any further investigation into Mr. Jayavarman’s time in Cambodia.

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