Florida attorney accused of traveling to Cambodia to sexually abuse children

TAMPA, Fla. – A 40-year-old attorney from Tampa has been indicted on five counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and one count of possessing child exploitation materials, federal officials announced Friday.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Rugh James Cline traveled to Cambodia in February 2019 and May 2019, where he paid to sexually abuse four different minors.

The indictment alleges that Cline also possessed materials depicting the sexual abuse of children while he was traveling to Cambodia.

Cline remains in the Southeast Asian nation, where he is serving a prison sentence for local charges.

Following his prison sentence, he will be deported to the U.S. to face charges here.

If convicted, Cline faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for possessing child pornography.

The case against Cline was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the U.S. Department of State and the Cambodian National Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Murray.


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