Ronald Gerard Boyajian, a former resident of Menlo Park, was sentenced Aug. 1 to 70 years in federal prison after being found guilty of three child-exploitation crimes.
The sentence by a federal judge in Los Angeles includes an order to pay $40,000 in restitution to one of the victims, prosecutors said.
After a six-week trial earlier this year, Mr. Boyajian, 55, was convicted of having traveled to Cambodia with the intention of engaging in illicit sexual conduct, of engaging in such conduct with a 9-year-old girl in Cambodia, and of doing so while required to register as a sex offender under California law, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder, calling Mr. Boyajian's conduct "extremely serious," imposed the maximum sentence "for the protection of the public and to deter such behavior in the future," prosecutors said.
The Cambodian National Police arrested Mr. Boyajian in February 2009 on his 35th trip to Asia over nine years. At the time, he had recently completed parole on a conviction of 22 counts of illegal sex in California with a 16-year-old minor and oral sex with a minor, also 16, in 1995.
Mr. Boyajian's victims in Cambodia were between 8 and 11 years old, "purchased" from mothers or grandmothers for the purpose of sexual abuse, prosecutors said. Mr. Boyajian was "abusive" and "cruel," one victim said at his trial. "He treated me like I wasn't even human," she said.
"After being convicted of sexually exploiting two children here in California, this defendant tried to evade justice by traveling to Cambodia to victimize even younger children," said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. "As today's sentence demonstrates, however, if you travel anywhere in the world for sex with children, the U.S. Department of Justice will be tenacious in prosecuting you and pursuing justice for the young victims of this hideous crime."
Mr. Boyajian visited the village of Svay Pak, notorious as a destination for pedophiles, and dealt with pimps and relatives of girls from impoverished Vietnamese immigrant families. He preferred victims who weighed less than 70 pounds, prosecutors said.
Agents with the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were involved in the case, as were the American Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Homeland Security Investigations offices in Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
When a convicted pedophile plans a trip overseas, Homeland Security Investigations will alert local law enforcement, special agent Joseph Macias said. More than 2,100 such alerts were issued to more than 90 countries in the 2015-16 budget year, he said.
The federal prosecutors in the case were David M. Herzog and Vanessa Baehr-Jones of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.