Almost seven years after his arrest in Cambodia, American Erik Peeters was sentenced this week to 22 years in a U.S. prison for abusing Cambodian boys.
Mr. Peeters had been charged with engaging in “illicit sexual conduct” for paying at least five boys between the ages of 11 and 16 for sex, according to a statement issued Thursday by Hagar International, an NGO that works with children and women.
After being arrested by Cambodian police in February 2009, Mr. Peeters was expelled from the country and charged in the U.S. under the Protect Act, which was designed to allow U.S. courts to prosecute citizens who commit sex offenses overseas.
During a March 2012 court hearing, Mr. Peeters pleaded guilty to abusing two of the five boys, who were 13 and 14 years old at the time.
“On Wednesday 7th December 2016, a US federal court in Los Angeles sentenced Erik Leonardus Peeters (48) to 22 years imprisonment for illicit sexual conduct with underage Cambodian boys,” Hagar said in its statement. “He was also placed on supervised release for life and prohibited from returning to Cambodia.”
Mr. Peeters was already a convicted child abuser, having been found guilty in 1990 of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
After his 2009 arrest, Mr. Peeters was returned to the U.S. along with other suspected pedophiles.