Interior Ministry anti-human trafficking police in Phnom Penh arrested a 59-year-old US national on Sunday for allegedly sexually abusing two girls aged 13 and 14 years old, officials said.
Michael James Dodd was arrested in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmei III commune after offering a 14-year-old money for sex and taking her to his rental home, said Bith Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department.
Police arrested Dodd before any abuse took place, Bith Kimhong said Monday, adding that Dodd is suspected of abusing the victim on several earlier occasions and another 13-year-old girl.
Bith Kimhong said the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Immigration and Crime Enforcement and the Australian Federal Police aided in the investigation.
He added that Dodd was found guilty of similar child sex abuse charges in the US, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison but only served five years before being released for good behavior.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court Deputy Prosecutor Sok Kolyan confirmed that Dodd was questioned by the court Tuesday, adding that no charges have yet been laid against him.
Bith Kimhong said another US citizen, Michael Richard David, 60, was arrested Oct 8 for allegedly having sex with the same 13-year-old victim that Dodd is also accused of abusing. David’s arrest led police to Dodd, he said.
David was charged by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with having sex with a minor on Oct 9.
US Embassy spokesman John Johnson declined to comment on either case or whether the FBI or ICE aided in the investigation.
Australian Federal Police Senior Liaison Matt Duckworth declined to comment on the case but said any involvement of AFP would have been through Cambodia’s Transnational Crime Team, which the embassy funds and trains.