A 66-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Saturday and faces deportation to the U.S. over warrants relating to child-sex offenses committed in California, police and a local NGO said.
Provincial police chief Tak Vantha said John Roland Stahl was arrested in Sihanoukville following a request made through the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.
“He was sent to the immigration police department [in Phnom Penh] on Saturday,” Mr. Vantha said.
The website of the sheriff’s office in Mendocino County, California, lists Mr. Stahl among its “most wanted.”
“John Stahl is currently wanted by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office on multiple arrest warrants to include: A Felony warrant for charges of possession of a controlled substance, furnishing a narcotic to a minor, transportation of a controlled substance and annoying/molesting of a child with the set bail of $20,000.00,” the website states.
Mr. Stahl is also wanted for failing to appear in court and for failing to register himself as a sex offender.
The website, which has not been updated since the arrest, noted Mr. Stahl’s last known address as being in Mendocino County, but that he was suspected to have left the county and possibly the U.S.
Yi Moden, acting director of Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), which monitors sexual abuse cases involving minors, said the local NGO’s investigations had found that Mr. Stahl had been living in Cambodia for about four years and was the co-owner of the beachside Cafe Noir establishment in Sihanoukville.
Mr. Moden said APLE staff had begun monitoring Mr. Stahl about a year ago when another NGO that works with young children said it had suspicions about the American.
“So far, no children in Cambodia were reported to be abused by him,” Mr. Moden said of the American who was detained at his rented apartment in Buon commune on Saturday morning.
Mr. Moden said APLE made contact with U.S. authorities when it was discovered that Mr. Stahl was wanted for previous offenses, adding that the NGO had requested that he be deported.