US Teacher Gets 9 Years for Sex With Cambodian, 14

'Cunning predator' is sentenced in US under 'sex tourism' law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2010 3:41 AM CST
US Teacher Gets 9 Years for Sex With Cambodian, 14
A 2002 mugshot of Michael James Dodd, who spent 4 years in jail in Saipan for molesting underage students before he moved to Cambodia.   (Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement)

"This is one of the most disgusting cases that has ever come before this court," a federal judge said before sentencing a 61-year-old American teacher to 9 years in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in Cambodia. Michael James Dodd abused the teen over an 8-month period, paying her impoverished family $100 per month, Reuters reports. Dodd traveled the world working as an English teacher in schools. He previously served four years in the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where he was convicted of inappropriately touching underage girls at an elementary school where he worked.

Dodd was sentenced under a 2003 law that made sex tourism a crime for US citizens, even if the abuse happened in another country. The judge—who called Dodd "a cunning, clever, and manipulative predator"—said he wished he could have handed out a longer sentence, but imposing the maximum 30-year sentence would have required a jury conviction, and he was unwilling to force the Cambodian girl to travel to the US to testify. (More sex tourism stories.)

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