A 61 year old Los Angeles Man was just sentenced to nine years in Federal Prison for traveling to Cambodia for the purpose of having sex with a 14 year old girl. Michael James Dodd was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim. A United States Attorney’s Office statement indicated that Dodd was having sex with the minor for some five months prior to his prosecution. Dodd was buying food for the girl’s family and giving the family $200 per month in what was called a “financial arrangement” in exchange for the minor child. Although the U.S. Attorney would not go so far as to say the girl was being rented to Mr. Dodd, they did say the victim and her family lived in extremely poor conditions in Cambodia.
Dodd served 16 months in custody before he was extradited back to the United States and Prosecuted under the Protect Act of 2003. The Protect Act criminalizes sex acts with minors even when the acts are perpetrated outside the United States. (See) The Act also increases punishments for such offenses, makes bail more difficult for suspects and provides other aids to prosecutors including the ability to obtain wire taps on suspects.
Of note in this case is that fact that Mr. Dodd was previously convicted of sexual abuse in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and he was convicted of sexual misconduct in Saipan in 2002 and served five years in prison there. He was also convicted in a Cambodian court in 2008 for sexually abusing the same victim and he was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was then released to U.S. custody.
This case was brought to the attention of U.S. authorities by a tip from a nonprofit organization called World Vision. The nonprofit World Vision was counseling and sheltering the victim at the time they made the tip.
If you have questions about this or any other criminal law matter, please contact me, Jeffrey Vallens, (818) 783-5700