Ex-Marine Sentenced to 210 Years for Raping Cambodian Girls

February 15, 2022

A retired US Marine captain was found guilty of raping young Cambodian girls and sentenced to 210 years in federal prison after he was tried and convicted for a second time on new charges.

68-year-old Michael Joseph Pepe has been in federal custody since 2007 but was sentenced Monday, February 14, 2022, for sexually assaulting and drugging his victims, who were between 9 and 12 years old at the time, reports the New York Post.

US District Judge Dale S. Fisher called Pepe’s actions “monstrous” and “horrific” and added that what Pepe did to the pre-teen girls was “torture.”

Pepe was actually arrested in Cambodia back in 2006 and was found guilty two years later of a federal statute that punishes US citizens who travel overseas to engage in sex with minors, according to The Post.

The victims were flown to the US and testified with the aid of an interpreter.

Pepe was working part-time as a professor at a Cambodian university when he was arrested by local officials in June 2006.

The 68-year-old pedophile was convicted back in 2008 but wasn’t sentenced until 2014 because of a controversy, reports The Post.

During his first case, prosecutors found out that interpreter Ann Luong Spiratos was having a sexual relationship with an ICE agent named Gary J. Phillips.

Pepe’s defense attorneys questioned if Spiratos provided skewed interpretation of the victims’ testimonies to aid the prosecution because of her relationship with Phillips.

However, a judge ultimately found that while the sexual relationship between the interpreter and the ICE agent was inappropriate, the trial was conducted fairly.

The entire case was retried in August 2021. Pepe’s eight victims flew back to the United States and testified again about how Pepe raped and drugged them in his compound in Phnom Penh.

Feature Image via AP

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