A former teacher in Cambodia, 36-year-old Micky Rife, was sentenced by US District Judge Gregory F Van Tatenhove to 21 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for engaging and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with two minors while residing in Cambodia.
According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, Rife, formerly of Salyersville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to his crime in January this year in the States.
The case, probed by Cambodia and Kentucky authorities, was conducted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
“In his plea agreement, Rife admitted that between March 7, 2013, and December 9, 2018, he resided in Cambodia and during that period of time he inappropriately touched a number of female minors on more than one occasion,” the press release said.
“He also admitted that both minor victims were under the age of 12 when the illicit conduct occurred,” it said.
The initial allegations came from Rife’s ex-girlfriend, who he was in a long term relationship and had adopted a child with.
She was concerned that Rife was also sexually assaulting the daughter. She reported Rife to the embassy in February 2018 when the child was around two years old.
Embassy officials then interviewed the former vice-principal of a school where Rife worked and also found out that he had received a written warning about inappropriate behavior with students in 2013.
The former vice-principal also said she knew of two children at the school who had been molested by Rife, one in 2013 and one in 2015.
As part of the investigation, the embassy interviewed parents and former students who reported his behavior, which led to his dismissal in 2018.
He was arrested by US marshals in January 2019.