Missionary faces lengthy jail sentence for abusing orphans

Missionary faces lengthy jail sentence for abusing orphans May 18, 2018

Christian missionary Daniel Stephen Johnson, 40, above, faces a minimum of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year in Oregon for for sexually abusing children living at an unlicensed Cambodian orphanage that he operated in Phnom Penh over a period of years.
A jury, according to this report,  found Johnson guilty on Wednesday of multiple sex abuse charges. He was convicted of six counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and one count each of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and aggravated sexual assault with children.
US authorities said nine Cambodian children ranging in age from 7 to 18 have disclosed Johnson’s abuse or past abuse in lengthy interviews with trained child-forensic interviewers.
The FBI launched an extensive investigation of Johnson and his potential victims after learning of the case in 2013, the US Attorney’s Office in Portland said.
Said Billy Williams, US attorney for the District of Oregon:

The despicable nature of this defendant’s conduct is beyond understanding. The fact that this defendant abused children under the guise of being a missionary and orphanage director is appalling.

Johnson first molested a child at the orphanage during a trip in 2005, according to court documents.
Local law enforcement issued a warrant for his arrest in an unrelated matter in 2013 in Lincoln County, Oregon. Johnson was located overseas and his passport as revoked based on the Oregon warrant.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the local case involved and a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office didn’t return a request for details.
The FBI then partnered with a non-profit that combats child exploitation in Cambodia and the Cambodian National Police to locate Johnson in Phnom Penh.
He was arrested in 2013 by Cambodian authorities and indicted the following year in the US on one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.
Johnson was extradited to the US after completing a one-year prison sentence in Cambodia as US authorities sought to build their case.
Seven more charges were added in 2017.
While in custody, Johnson tried to tamper with witnesses and contact his victims online, bribing them with gifts and promises of money to change their testimony, the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

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  • Jobrag

    Did he become a missionary in order to abuse children or did his work as a missionary bring him into a position where he could abuse children?

  • sailor1031

    @Jobrag: the first thing I learned as a kid about fishing is you go where the fish are.

  • L.Long

    Totally shocked & surprised!! NOT!

  • gedediah

    @ Jobrag.
    Good question. How many pedos are attracted to the priesthood because their lax standards make it easy for them to access children?

  • andym

    Many if not most , I’d say.It helps if you’re in a self-righteous organisation which answers only to itself.It makes the argument about ending celibacy a bit of a red herring.

  • barriejohn

    I was wondering how he managed to set up and finance an orphanage in far-off Cambodia, and, surprise, surprise, he wasn’t the “lone wolf” that most sites are making him out to be, if this report is to be believed:
    According to a 2014 report by Texas television station KLTV, Johnson’s work with the nonprofit ministry Hope Transitions had been funded for several years by a Calvary Baptist Church in Gladewater, Texas. Johnson resigned from the organization after the allegations came to light.
    Johnson worked as a Christian missionary in Cambodia for about 10 years, according to a news release issued after his arrest by anti-pedophile group Action pour les Enfants, which is based in Cambodia.

    I wonder whether others, especially those who were financing him, are feeling pangs of guilt over this case?

  • barriejohn

    Looks like this group:
    “Opening a new girl’s home in Phnom Penh. Expansion move is to make room for several girls coming from an at risk situation and environment.”
    Oh, the irony!

  • barriejohn
  • AgentCormac

    ‘Oh, the irony!’ indeed. There really should be an international ban on proselytisation. If you want to believe in god, fine – get on with it. But it should go no further than the door to your home and the door to your church/mosque/synagogue/temple/whatever.

  • Robster

    Soon the religious ‘authorities’ will single out their last remaining honest, well adjusted cleric, dress it up in a sillier than usual outfit then take it on tour with a small choir and turnstile, to prove(?) that there is at least one good clergy and that all can’t be assumed to be child molesters or rapists.