A U.S. registered sex offender who was convicted for child abuse in 2002 and served prison time in his home country was arrested by Cambodian police on Friday in Battambang province and will be deported to the U.S., officials said on Sunday.
Robert James Boehnlein, 65, was being held on Sunday at the Interior Ministry’s general department of immigration in Phnom Penh after he was arrested by immigration police in Battambang City’s Chamkar Samraong commune, according to a report provided by Uk Heisela, the immigration department’s chief of investigations.
“There was cooperation with the FBI in Cambodia,” Lieutenant General Heisela added in a message on Sunday. Mr. Boehnlein would be handed over to the FBI and sent to the U.S. this week, he said.
Mr. Boehnlein was arrested in Cambodia for “the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the U.S.,” the report said.
Mr. Boehnlein, who was released from prison in 2011, is wanted in the U.S. for outstanding warrants, according to an online sex offender registry in the U.S. state of Louisiana’s Calcasieu parish.
Lt. Gen. Heisela said he was not working in Cambodia, although a photograph of Mr. Boehnlein’s visa sent by police shows that he held a valid EB business visa, which was issued last month.
Battambang City police chief Pang Heang said Mr. Boehnlein was living in a rented house in Battambang City with a Cambodian woman. Mr. Heang said he did not know if the two were married or if Mr. Boehnlein was suspected of committing any crimes in Cambodia.
Mr. Boehnlein is listed as a registered sex offender in the U.S. states of Louisiana and Pennsylvania, according to the National Sex Offender Public website.
He was convicted of sodomy of a minor in 2002 for an offense committed in 1984.
The former U.S. Air Force computer operator disappeared from a Texas airbase in 1988 while facing charges of indecent acts with children. He was deported to the U.S. in 2002 after Mexican police arrested him at a school where he was teaching English in the city of Guadalajara, the Associated Press reported that year. Charges related to one of the children were later dismissed.
Mr. Boehnlein “started making sexual advances toward [the victim] when she was 7 years old,” a 2004 Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals opinion says. “The sexual abuse continued over a number of years, occurring sometimes 2-3 times a week.”
He was convicted for sodomy, indecent acts with a minor and desertion by a general court-martial and sentenced to 15 years’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge from the military, the opinion says.
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