Oregon man who sexually abused orphaned children gets life in prison

Daniel Johnson of Coos Bay, started and ran an unlicensed orphanage in Cambodia.

Posted: Jan. 31, 2019 7:13 AM
Updated: Jan. 31, 2019 10:31 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Coos Bay man has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing children at an orphanage he ran in Cambodia, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

According to court documents and information shared during the trial, Daniel Stephen Johnson, 40, molested children who lived at the unlicensed orphanage he started in Cambodia between November 2005 and his arrest in December 2013. Ten Cambodian victims, ranging in age from seven to 18 years old at the time of the abuse, have come forward.

RELATED: Coos Bay man guilty of sexually abusing children at Cambodia orphanage

Johnson funded the orphanage by soliciting donations from church groups in Oregon, California and Texas.

A warrant was issued for Johnson's arrest in an unrelated case by Lincoln County officials in 2013, and local law enforcement worked with the FBI to locate Johnson overseas. The FBI had his passport revoked and worked with Action Pour Les Enfants, a group dedicated to ending child sexual abuse and exploitation in Cambodia, and the Cambodian National Police to locate Johnson in Phnom Penh. 

Johnson was arrested Dec. 9, 2013, and based on statements from children at the orphanage, Cambodian officials charged Johnson and held him for trial. In May 2014, a Cambodian judge convicted Johnson of performing indecent acts on one or more children and sentenced him to a year in prison. Following his release, Johnson was taken back to the U.S. by the FBI.

In December 2014, Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury in Eugene on one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, and seven additional charges were added in 2017. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that while Johnson was in custody awaiting trial, he made multiple efforts to tamper with witnesses and obstruct justice. 

The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the Toledo Police Department. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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