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Press Release

Former Salyersville Resident Pleads Guilty to Illicit Sexual Conduct While Traveling and Residing in Cambodia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky.A former resident of Salyersville, Kentucky, Micky Rife, 36, admitted in federal court on Thursday, that he, a U.S. citizen, engaged and attempted to engage in illicit sexual conduct with two minor females while he traveled and resided in Cambodia.         

Rife pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove. In his plea agreement, Rife admitted that between September 3, 2012, and December 9, 2018, he traveled in foreign commerce, and between March 7, 2013 and December 9, 2018, he resided in Cambodia, and that during those time frames, he touched two minor females under their clothing and inside or on their genital areas on more than one occasion. He further admitted that both minor victims were under the age of 12 when the illicit conduct occurred.  

Rife was previously indicted for two separate counts of the same offense in February 2019. He pleaded guilty to a single count Information filed on January 16, 2020.                  

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Jerry Templet, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security- Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HSI), SAC Nashville, and Rodney Brewer, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted in Cambodia and Kentucky by HSI and the Kentucky State Police. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Marye and Trial Attorney Lauren S. Kupersmith of the Child Obscenity and Exploitation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Rife is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27, 2020. He faces up to 30 years in prison and lifetime supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes. 

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at


CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887

Updated January 16, 2020