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Child Exploitation
02/21/2020

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ICE Homeland Security Investigations makes child sex tourism arrest

SAN FRANCISCO – Paul Marshall Bodner, 64, a former substitute teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Agents Feb. 13, on charges related to sex tourism in Vietnam.

Bodner met Vietnamese boys as young as 11 or 12 years old and engaged in sex acts with them at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, according to information presented to the court at his initial appearance Feb. 13.

“It is reprehensible and illegal for American citizens to sexually exploit innocent children, not only within the borders of our republic, but anywhere in the world,” said HSI San Francisco’s Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. “Homeland Security Investigations will work with our foreign law enforcement partners to relentlessly pursue anyone involved in criminal behavior against children.”

In an indictment filed on Jan. 30, and unsealed Feb. 13, a federal grand jury charged Bodner with repeatedly traveling to Vietnam to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The indictment charges Bodner with three counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, according to Northern District of California U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson.

An indictment alleges crimes have been committed. However, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bodner was arraigned in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lina Peng is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Morgan Byrne. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI. An HSI Task Force Officer from the San Francisco Police Department Narcotics Division assisted in the investigation and arrest of Bodner.

The investigation was initiated after U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered Bodner during his travels. “Stopping criminals at the border, especially those involved in crimes against vulnerable children, is one of the highest priorities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said Brian J. Humphrey, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in San Francisco. “CBP works closely with all law enforcement agencies to bring to justice those who pose a threat to our community.”

If convicted, Bodner would face for each count a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment, a life term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate.

Anyone with information about Bodner or his alleged sexual interest in children should contact the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE and ask to be directed to the case agent or by completing the online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. HSI encourages the public to also report any other suspected child predators and any suspicious activity.

Homeland Security Investigations

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to its child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. In fiscal year 2019, HSI nationally made nearly 4,000 child exploitation arrests, resulting in more than 1,750 convictions.

HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For Internet safety information for educators, parents, and children alike, please visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians to learn about HSI’s iGuardians program.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/24/2020