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American pedophile arrested in Phuket gets 15 years

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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American pedophile arrested in Phuket gets 15 years | Thaiger

PHUKET: American pedophile Charles Todd Stokes, arrested in Phuket in 2006, was sentenced by a US federal court last week to 15 years in prison for molesting over 70 boys while living in Thailand.

Stokes was a gym teacher in Miami, Florida from 1985 to 1998. Fired from his job for inappropriate contact with children, he moved to Thailand where he spent several years and opened a school in Bangkok to continue his depredations.

Stokes, now 49, was charged by US authorities in Chicago for moving to Thailand in 2002 to molest young boys until his capture four years later.

American immigration agents began investigating Stokes after learning he had a criminal record for child abuse, according to court documents.

An independent investigation by Royal Thai Police found young boys had visited his apartment, and teachers at his school said he had inappropriate contact with students.

The arrest followed a raid by officers on an apartment Stokes maintained in Pattaya. There they allegedly found around 100 photographs of boys aged nine to 11, both in school uniform and naked.

The US Attorney’s Office later found that Stokes had molested more than 70 boys. Most were under 16 and about half under 12, CBS news said in its trial report.

After his arrest in 2006, Stokes was returned to the United States to stand trial.

Two victims, both 11 year old at the time, flew from Thailand to Chicago to testify against him in a hearing last year.

Stokes’ defense in the trial was based on the claim that the search of his home violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The warrant carried by Thai police was not specific enough and the evidence seized should therefore be suppressed, his lawyers argued.

In her ruling, US District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer denied this motion, sentencing him to 15 years imprisonment, the maximum allowable at the time his crimes were perpetrated.

That maximum has since been doubled to 30 years.

Although Stokes was finally arrested in Cherng Talay, there is no evidence in the court record suggesting that he molested children in Phuket.

 

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