Cambodia: Siem Reap Provincial Court sentences a US attorney to 30 months imprisonment over child sex abuses during his stay in Cambodia

Author: Brandon Meyer, Tampa Bay Times, Published on: 6 November 2019

"Tampa attorney convicted of child sex abuse in Cambodia", 5 November 2019

A Cambodian court has sentenced attorney Rugh James Cline, 39 of Tampa to 2½ years in prison on charges of sexually abusing three underage girls, a court official and social activist said ...

Ying Srang, spokesman for the provincial court in Siem Reap, …, said Cline was convicted Thursday of indecent acts against minors under 15 years of age for paying three girls for sex during visits … this year.

A non-governmental organization that investigates suspected foreign pedophiles in Cambodia, Action Pour Les Enfants, said the victims told police that Cline paid them a total of $120. The group, known by the acronym APLE, identified Cline as a lawyer.

The court ordered Cline, who pleaded not guilty, to pay 15 million riels ($3,750) in compensation to each of the girls.

According to Florida Bar records, Cline graduated from the University of Miami School of Law … and was admitted to the Florida Bar ...

The Florida Bar confirmed in an email that it is investigating the criminal charges.

Susannah Lyle, the Florida Bar’s Assistant Director of Public Information, said a monitor file is opened when an attorney is facing felony-level charges…

Poverty and poor law enforcement have made Cambodia a magnet for foreign pedophiles, though anti-human trafficking police aided by groups such as APLE try to crack down on sex offenders.

… Seila Samleang urged Cambodian authorities to deport foreign sex offenders after they complete their prison terms because they could pose a risk to other local children.

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