Man convicted for traveling to Cambodia for sex with children

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Several underage girls testified in court about a man who traveled to Cambodia to have sex with them. (KABC)

A sex offender who was caught preying on children overseas is facing a potential sentence of 70 years in prison.

Former Palos Verdes resident Ronald Boyajian, 55, was convicted of three felony charges after traveling to Cambodia 35 times and engaging in illicit sex with girls between 8 and 11 years old.

Monday, four of his victims who were brought to Los Angeles to testify in the trial told the court how their lives were impacted by Boyajian's attacks.

Through an interpreter they poured our their hearts, telling how abuse had impacted their lives.

"When I meet men, I feel fear," said one tearfully.

"It is hard for me to get married, my friends look down on me," stated another.

"Do not allow this man to leave prison. Possibly there are other children out there it would happen to like what happened to me," a third stated as she wept.

Boyajian was arrested after being put under surveillance by Cambodian police and a non-governmental organization called Action Pour Les Enfants. A partnership with U.S. federal investigators helped launch Operation Twisted Traveler.

Assistant US attorney David Herzog has been laboring through this case for six years.

Boyajian acted as his own attorney and filed a blitz of motions. Boyajian claims his arrest in 2009 was a kidnapping and that the Department of Justice subjected him to an infectious MRSA illness.

Boyajian was first imprisoned in 1994 following conviction on more than 20 counts of child molestation in Orange County. Soon after he was released he took his first trip to Cambodia.

Prosecutor David Herzog believes heavy sentences are having a significant deterrent effect on sex tourists.

"We are committed to rooting out child predators," Herzog said.

The prosecutor had originally requested a prison term of 30 years. Now it is 70.

He states in court sentencing papers, "no defendant is more deserving of a functional life sentence than Ronald Boyajian."
Related Topics:
newssex abuse against childrensex crimeRancho Palos VerdesLos AngelesOrange County
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