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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2007 Press Release Index
    Release No. 07-027

    February 21, 2007

    LOS ANGELES MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TRAVELING TO THAILAND TO HAVE SEX WITH MINORS

    Los Angeles, CA - A Los Angeles man who traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to have sex with minors pleaded guilty today to federal charges.

    Steven Erik Prowler, 58, pleaded guilty this morning in Los Angeles to federal charges of traveling abroad with the intent to have sex with a minor and to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors in another country.

    In a plea agreement filed in the case, Prowler admitted traveling to Bangkok for the purpose of having sex with minors. He specifically admitted paying a 15-year-old boy approximately $6 to engage in sexual acts in April 2005.

    Prowler has been in custody since May 2005, when he was arrested at his apartment in Bangkok by the Royal Thai Police. Thai authorities prosecuted Prowler for molesting two youths and he was jailed on those local charges until he was turned over to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs in May 2006.

    Prowler faces a maximum possible sentence of 60 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 14 by United States District Judge Robert M. Takasugi.

    Prowler is the third person to be prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of California on child sex tourism charges under the provisions of the PROTECT Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. The PROTECT Act created a nationwide AMBER Alert Program and strengthened federal laws against child exploitation (see: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/April/03_ag_266.htm).

    The case against Prowler was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which received the cooperation of Thai authorities.

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    Release No. 07-027
    Return to the 2007 Press Release Index