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    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

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



    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-112

    August 2, 2010

    LOS ANGELES MAN RECEIVES 25-YEAR SENTENCE FOR TRAVELING TO THAILAND TO HAVE SEX WITH MINORS

    LOS ANGELES – A former English teacher in Bangkok has received a 25-year prison term for his conviction on federal charges of traveling to Thailand to have sex with minors, a sentence that was imposed after the government appealed a 10-year sentence previously issued in the case.

    Steven Erik Prowler, 61, was re-sentenced Friday afternoon by United States District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, who told the defendant he was receiving the quarter-century sentence due to, in part, the nature of his conduct, which she described as particularly “depraved.”

    Prowler pleaded guilty in February 2007 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. After another judge sentenced Prowler to 10 years in prison, the Justice Department appealed, and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the sentence and remanded the case to the District Court for re-sentencing.

    Prowler was arrested in Bangkok in May 2005 by the Royal Thai Police after they saw two youths leaving Prowler’s apartment. The boys, who were 15 and 16, subsequently told police that Prowler had paid them to engage in oral sex. Following Prowler’s arrest, the Royal Thai Police, assisted by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, searched Prowler’s apartment and found more than 100 photos of naked teenage boys. Additionally, investigators recovered numerous handwritten journals in which Prowler described in graphic detail the sexual acts he performed with numerous boys in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Mexico over an approximately five-year period.

    “This sentence is a powerful reminder about the consequences facing Americans who travel overseas seeking to sexually exploit innocent children,” said John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Stopping these deviant and criminal acts is a priority that requires aggressive action. ICE Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work tirelessly with foreign law enforcement officials and non-governmental organizations around the world to vindicate the rights of these young victims, no matter how destitute they are or how far they live from our shores.”

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    Release No. 10-112

    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index