Feb 23, 2020 / 18:20

US man charged of child sex tourism in Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative launched in May 2006 by the US Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

A US federal grand jury charged Paul Marshall Bodner, 64, of San Francisco, California, with repeatedly traveling to Vietnam in order to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

 Illustrative photo

The indictment was filed on January 30 following an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, the US embassy in Hanoi has said.

According to the indictment unsealed on February 13, Bodner allegedly traveled to Vietnam multiple times during the period from July 2015 through August 2016 for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“US law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with foreign law enforcement partners around the world, work tirelessly to protect children and to bring their abusers to justice. In this instance, strong collaboration between the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security have brought multiple child victims one step nearer to finding closure,” said US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink.

“This arrest also underscores how the United States and Vietnam can work together effectively to combat child exploitation.”

Anyone with information about Bodner or his alleged sexual interest in children should contact the HSI Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE and ask to be directed to the case agent. Tips may also be submitted online.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, an initiative launched in May 2006 by the US Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  

HSI is a critical investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security and is a vital US asset in combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America's travel, trade, financial and immigration systems.

HSI is also a worldwide leader in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children. With over 200 US offices and more than 70 offices overseas, HSI has the ability to follow a case – to rescue a victim or arrest a predator – wherever in the world it may lead.