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Child Exploitation

Los Angeles man re-sentenced to 25-year prison term for sex tourism

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 was re-sentenced Friday afternoon where he received a quarter-century sentence due to the nature of his conduct, which the judge described as "particularly depraved."

"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's Office of 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."

Prowler pleaded guilty in February 2007 to federal charges of traveling abroad with the intent to have sex with a minor and to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors in another country. After another judge sentenced Prowler to 10 years in prison, the Justice Department appealed and reversed the sentence, and the case was remanded for re-sentencing.

Prowler was arrested in Bangkok in May 2005 by the Royal Thai Police after they saw two youths leaving his 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, ICE agents and the Royal Thai Police, 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.