LOS ANGELES – A man who taught English in Cambodia was sentenced Monday to nearly nine years in federal prison for traveling abroad to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, in what a judge called one of the most disgusting cases that has come before him.
Michael Dodd, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Walter to 104 months, and was ordered to pay $9,500 in restitution. Dodd pleaded guilty under a plea agreement in September to traveling to Cambodia to engage in sex with a minor.
Walter expressed concern about what Dodd would do when he's released from prison. The judge said he would've rather seen Dodd convicted by a jury so he could sentence the defendant to life in prison.
"There's no doubt in my mind that when he gets out at 68 years old, he's gonna do this again," Walter said.
Dodd has denied abusing the 14-year-old girl, claiming he had plans to marry her. Dodd had sexual relations on about 25 occasions with the girl and paid her family $50 every two weeks so he could visit her, prosecutors said.
He was convicted in a Cambodian court of sexually abusing the teenage girl, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but served 16 months, authorities said. Dodd was extradited to the U.S. in February where he was prosecuted under a federal law that outlaws child sex tourism even if the crimes were committed in other nations.
Dodd taught students between 13 and 45 years old, but he told agents he was prohibited from teaching school in most places because he had been convicted of sexual abuse in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth.
In Saipan in 2001, he was arrested on charges of inappropriately touching 13 underage female students and pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual abuse. He served time in prison and was required to register as a sex offender.
Dodd also admitted to an FBI agent that he has paid to have sexual relations with other children, prosecutors said.