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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sexual Tourism Charges Laid Against Burnaby Man

35 sexual tourism charges were laid against a Burnaby, BC, man today. It is alleged that the offenses took place outside of Canada in locations like South East Asia, the Philippines and South America. It is illegal for Canadians to travel to other countries and engage in sexual activities that are illegal in Canada.

"The charges against Kenneth Robert Klassen include sexual interference, sexual touching, procuring and making child pornography. It's alleged the 35 offences were committed in Cambodia, Colombia and the Philippines between 1998 and 2002.CBC"CBC

The Canadian authorities were alerted to this case by the arrival of a suspicious package containing DVDs and a camera. Subsequent investigations showed that children as young as nine years old were involved.

The child sex tourism law enacted in 2002 has been effective in charging overseas offenders, but much still needs to be done to bring justice to the victims.
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More Vandalism At Buddhist Temple In Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) ― Police are asking whoever's behind a string of vandalism incidents at a Cambodian Buddhist temple in Rochester to stop.

Investigators say the latest incident was Monday, when rocks, dirt and sand were put in the temple's mailbox. Twenty solar-powered lights were also taken.

Members say the mailbox has been vandalized five times in the past month, and there have also been five attempted break-ins.

Vandalism at the temple a year ago included smashed lights, yanked flowers and a cross along with "Jesus saves" spray-painted on the driveway in orange.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Behrns says the crimes are obviously motivated by bias.

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B.C. man guilty of sex tourism


VANCOUVER - A Burnaby, B.C. man has pleaded guilty to sex tourism charges involving 14 underage girls in Cambodia and Colombia.

Kenneth Klassen appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Friday and admitted to committing the crimes between December 1998 and March of 2002.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of importing child pornography and will be sentenced in July.

Klassen, a father of three, was originally facing 35 charges for the exploitation and sexual abuse of children in Cambodia, Colombia and the Philippines.

He was accused of abusing girls as young as nine and charged in 2007 after a two-and-a-half-year international investigation that netted videos showing a man having sex with young girls.

Klassen challenged Canada's child-sex tourism law in 2009, saying Canadian courts had no jurisdiction in other countries, but a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled the law is internationally valid because many countries have similar legislation.

"In the absence of extraterritorial legislation, Canada would become a safer harbour for those who engage in the economic or sexual exploitation of children," Justice Austin Cullen wrote in his decision.

Canada's child-sex tourism laws were enacted in 1997 and bolstered five years later so the consent of the foreign country where allegations of sexual abuse took place was no longer needed in order to lay charges.

Vancouver hotel employee Donald Bakker was the first Canadian to be convicted under the law in 2005.

He got a 10-year sentence for 10 sexual assaults on girls between seven and 12 in Cambodia, where he videotaped the abuse.

In November of 2008, two Quebec aid workers pleaded guilty to sexually abusing teenage boys while working at an orphanage in Haiti.

Armand Huard was sentenced to three years in prison and Denis Rochefort was given two years.

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