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Photos Help in Paedophile's Conviction

May 29, 1999 · 

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Published in The Nation
(May 29, 1999)

PERTH – A 45-year-old boiler-maker became the first Australian to be jailed for sexually abusing children overseas after being convicted on the basis of photographs brought back from a holiday in Cambodia.

John Lee was found guilty of child pornography and child sex crimes committed on a holiday in Phnom Penh two years ago. The Perth District Court sentenced him yesterday to a maximum of 14 -years in jail. The only concrete evidence was a series of sexually explicit photographs of Lee with young girls, although Lee’s face could not be clearly seen.

The court heard that Lee travelled to the Cambodian capital in early 1997 and enlisted a local taxi driver to procure a number of young girls. According to expert evidence, at least one of the girls could have been as young as 1 1 years old.

Returning to the single men’,;s accommodation where he lived in South Hedland, Lee could not resist showing them to a colleague who commented that the females in the photos looked “a bit young”. The workmate later alerted police, who arrested Lee in 1997.

(The Nation: May 29, 1999)

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