Ventura County

Oxnard Man Sentenced For Child Rapes In Cambodia

Judge Calls Ex-Marine "Monstrous"

OXNARD, Calif. - A retired Marine Corps captain convicted of drugging and sexually abusing young girls in Cambodia was sentenced Friday to 210 years in federal prison by a United States District Judge in Los Angeles.

Jurors convicted Michael Joseph Pepe in May 2008 of seven felony counts for traveling to Cambodia to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors.

The presiding judge also ordered the 60-year-old defendant to pay $247,000 in restitution to his victims.

The judge admonished Pepe for showing no remorse for his crime. "Monstrous does not begin to capture the horror of the crime or the impact on the victims," Judge Dale. S. Fisher said.

Prosecutors say the girls, who were between the ages of 9 and 13 at the time of the abuse, testified that Pepe drugged, bound, beat and raped them. Several victims testified that Pepe required them to give him sexual massages and perform oral sex on him on a daily basis.

The prostitute who acted as Pepe's broker testified on videotape about bringing young victims to his residence. Pepe paid the broker and the victims' families for unlimited access to the girls.

"Predators cannot hide in foreign nations to conceal their deviant sexual desires," said United States Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr.

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