A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 25 years behind bars after an original sentence of 10 years for traveling abroad to have sex with minors was rejected by a federal judge as too light. He was convicted of having sex with underage boys in Southeast Asia and Mexico.
Steven Erik Prowler, 61, was recently re-sentenced in the case because, as U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall put it, his actions in Thailand were particularly “depraved.”
The former Bangkok English teacher pleaded guilty in 2007 to “federal charges of traveling abroad with the intent to have sex with a minor and to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors in another country,” according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The U.S. Department of Justice appealed his original, 10-year sentence, arguing it was too light, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit court of appeals agreed, allowing the re-sentencing last week.
He was arrested in May 2005 in Bangkok after authorities there spotted spotting two boys, 15 and 16, leave his apartment: They told police they had engaged in oral sex with the Prowler.
Authorities, including U.S. customs officials, searched his Bangkok apartment and found more than 100 photos of nude boys, prosecutors said. Journals in which Prowler described his molestation were also discovered, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The man had sex with underage boys in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Mexico, according to prosecutors.
“This sentence is a powerful reminder about the consequences facing Americans who travel overseas seeking to sexually exploit innocent children,” said John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).