A Florida attorney has been deported back to the US after spending two and a half years in a Cambodian prison for sexually abusing four kids — and now faces 170 years behind bars in the States if found guilty of child sex crimes.
Rugh James Cline, 40, is currently under house arrest at his Tampa residence after he was indicted by the Department of Justice in February of 2021 — two years after his arrest in Cambodia.
He faces five counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and one count of possession of child exploitation materials, according to the DOJ.
The lawyer is accused of traveling to Cambodia in February and May of 2019 and paying to sexually abuse four children — all under the age of 15 — on multiple occasions.
The child rapist has pleaded not guilty to his charges after his first appearance in federal court in Tampa on June 7 in Tampa.
The pedophile was released on a $100,000 bond last Monday under the condition he would be on 24-hour home detention with GPS monitoring, given the severity of his accused crimes.
He is also forbidden from using the internet and cannot have any contact with minors while under home detention, according to the DOJ.
If found guilty, the racist child molester could be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for each count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, as well as an additional 20 years for possession of child pornography.
This pale monster graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 2010 but has not been eligible to practice law in Florida due to “delinquent fees,” according to The Florida Bar.
It is unclear when he last practiced law in the Sunshine State, but the Florida Bar said in 2021 that the DOJ charges stemming from his actions in Cambodia did not affect “his status,” and a separate “disciplinary file” was opened into the matter, Law & Crime reported.
The child predator was identified back in 2019 by Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) — a non-governmental organization that investigates suspected foreign pedophiles in Cambodia — after the victims revealed to Cambodian law enforcement that the lawyer had paid $120 to each of them for the multiple acts of abuse, WFLA reported back in 2019.
The diabolical white lawyer was convicted in 2021 for paying to abuse the underage girls and served two and half years in a Cambodian prison.
He was also ordered to pay a $200 fine to the court and $3,750 in compensation to each of the victims — all of whom were under the age of 15 at the time of the abuse.
“I welcome the verdict, however, the crime of purchase of child prostitution should have been charged as the offender took advantage of the victims, coercing them with money,” APLE’s executive director, Seila Samleang, told the Associated Press in 2019. “This would’ve represented a longer jail sentence.”
Those caught and convicted of purchasing child prostitutes in Cambodia can face seven to 15 years of imprisonment when the child is under 15.
His deportation back to the US was prompted after a joint FBI investigation with the State Department and the Cambodian National Police determined they had enough evidence to prosecute Cline in the States.
Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray, the prosecutor for the US trial, will have to prove the racist pedophile traveled to Cambodia in February and May of 2019 to “engaged in illicit sexual conduct” with the minors — while knowingly traveling with and in possession of “materials depicting the sexual abuse of young children.”
For decades, Cambodia has been a draw for foreign pedophiles, given the country’s rampant poverty and its poorly trained law enforcement.
In recent years, authorities in Cambodia have ramped up efforts to crack down on child sex crimes by visitors after mounting pressure from various anti-trafficking agencies around the globe.
102 cases exist of foreign tourists suspected of pedophilia in 2017, with an additional 89 cases in 2018, according to findings by APLE in 2022.