UK & World News

  • 1 March 2014, 23:57

Ex-Marine Michael Pepe Jailed For Sexual Abuse

A former US Marine captain has been given a 210-year sentence after being convicted of the violent sexual abuse of young girls in Cambodia.

Michael Pepe, from Oxnard, California, was working part-time as a professor at a Cambodian university in the capital, Phnom Penh, when he was arrested by the Cambodian National Police in 2006.

Two years later he was convicted. There was a delay in sentencing him because of allegations of an affair between a US investigator and a local interpreter.

US Federal Judge Dale Fischer said the former soldier had shown "absolutely no remorse".

He said: "He went to Cambodia because it was easy to molest little girls there.

"He raped and tortured them ... while maintaining the facade of being interested in the education of Cambodian children."

Passing judgement at a federal court in Los Angeles, Judge Fischer imposed a maximum 30-year sentence for each of Pepe's seven convictions. They will run consecutively.

"Despite the sincere efforts of defence counsel, the court finds no justification that would allow Mr†Pepe ever to be released from prison," Judge Fischer added.

Restitution of $247,000 (£147,000) was also awarded to organisations that house and care for the victims.

Money from Pepe's military pension will be used to help pay that amount.

"As far as I'm concerned, every last dime of it should go to the children," Judge Fischer said.

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