Convicted American Child Sex Offender Sentenced to 3 Year Imprisonment in Battambang

Phnom Penh: On 28th of May, Battambang provincial court pronounced a verdict finding American convicted child sex offender Robert James Boehnlein, 66, guilty of Aggravating Circumstance of Indecent Assault of Criminal Code and sentenced him to 3-year imprisonment, the offence he committed against a five-year-old girl who was a daughter of his girlfriend. The court gave him additional punishment by ordering his deportation from Cambodia after he finishes serving his sentence and fined him 5 million Riel (approx. USD 1,250).

Boehnlein came to APLE’s attention when he applied to teach English at an international school in Battambang. The school representative reported Boehnlein to APLE when they googled his name and found out about his conviction in the US. During APLE’s preliminary information collection, Boehnlein started having relationship with his Cambodian girlfriend; she had a very young daughter. Thereafter, the couple moved in to live together.

In 2002, Robert J. Boehnlein was convicted for of sodomy and indecent acts with a child under the age of 16 in Texas. He sexually abused his girlfriend’s daughter for years while she was between the age of 7 and 12. After the abuse was reported, Boehnlein fled to Mexico. There, he was arrested by Mexican authorities and was returned to the US.

In August 2017, police from Battambang Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit in collaboration with FBI, and the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department with assistance from APLE Cambodia arrested Robert James Boehnlein in Battambang town.

APLE Cambodia and other NGO partners have provided appropriate support to the victim and her family to ensure that they could undergo support for emotional difficulties and receive meaningful justice.

Seila Samleang, APLE Executive Director, said “This is another great example of how schools could help to stop crimes against children. Criminal background checks of the persons seeking work which involves children must be done to the best degree possible.”