- In 2011, ICE deported Cambodian refugee Sophea Phea to a country her family fled from in the 1970s to escape genocide.
- While in Cambodia, Phea became a teacher and started advocating for other Southeast Asian deportees in a bid to help them return home to the U.S.
- After years of advocacy, she finally received a pardon from Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020.
- Phea, now 40, reunited with her family and loved ones last month in Long Beach.
- “I have a big family, so I am looking forward to participating in family functions again and reconnecting with all of them!” she said upon her return. “I also look forward to pursuing my career in the education field and going back to school to get my degree.”
After being deported to Cambodia in 2011, a former refugee was recently reunited with her family and loved ones in Long Beach, California.
Sophea Phea, 40, was able to return to the U.S. last month, two years after Governor Gavin Newsom pardoned her from her criminal record.
- Sophy Treadway, a Cambodian woman who was accused of stealing more than $60,000 from the owners of Rockport Donuts, who illegally trafficked her, was found not guilty on Aug. 17.
- The money Treadway was accused of stealing was her tips from customers, according to Treadway’s attorney Xenos Yuen.
- Jurors also learned that the shop’s bookkeeper was a partial owner who had no accounting experience.
- Treadway previously filed a human trafficking lawsuit in August 2019 against the Oteros, claiming that she was forced to work at the donut shop for a salary of $75 per month.
- The federal court sided with Treadway and awarded her $1.78 million in April.
A Cambodian woman who was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a couple who illegally trafficked her was found not guilty.
Sophy Treadway was indicted on felony theft charges for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from Rockport Donuts owners Matthew and Sopheak Otero in Rockport City, Texas, in 2019. On Aug. 17, Treadway was found not guilty of felony theft in Aransas County.
- Emily Chhun, 26, fell victim to a violent robbery outside a Safeway in San Leandro, California, on May 11.
- The male assailant allegedly punched and pistol-whipped Chhun during the attack, leaving her with a concussion and a broken nose.
- The suspect managed to flee with Chhun’s purse, which contained cash, ID, credit cards and keys.
- Community members held a Stop Asian Hate rally and demanded justice for Chhun outside the supermarket on May 15.
- A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Chhun’s medical bills.
A Cambodian American woman is left traumatized after falling victim to a violent robbery outside a supermarket in San Leandro, California, earlier this month.
Emily Chhun, 26, had just returned to her car after buying some snacks at a Safeway on Washington Avenue when the horror unfolded.
Chinese man who claimed to have been kidnapped ‘blood slave’ fabricated his story, Cambodian police say
- After an investigation, police said that Li Yayuanlun, the 31-year-old Chinese man who was allegedly kidnapped and used as a “blood slave” in Cambodia, reportedly fabricated his story.
- According to previous news reports, Li was allegedly lured into a false job advertisement by a gang before he was abducted and sold into another gang running an online fraud company. He escaped as a “blood slave” and was admitted to the hospital in a poor physical state.
- Based on the Cambodian police’s investigation, Li was in fact smuggled into Cambodia before he contracted a serious liver disease, which led him to seek help from a local social organization.
- Three people accused of assisting Li in fabricating his story to hide his illegal entry into Cambodia have been detained by the police.
Li Yayuanlun, the 31-year-old Chinese man who previously claimed he had been kidnapped as a “blood-slave” in Cambodia, reportedly fabricated his story, according to the Chinese embassy.
Li had allegedly been lured into a false job advertisement by a gang before he was abducted and sold into another gang running an online fraud company who had used him as a “blood slave” for months, according to previous news reports. He then had supposedly managed to escape while in a poor physical state and was admitted to a hospital on Feb. 12.
- Michael Joseph Pepe, a 68-year-old retired U.S. Marine Captain, was sentenced to 210 years in federal prison for drugging, beating and raping Cambodian children.
- He was reportedly working as a part-time professor when he hired a prostitute to procure Cambodian children between the ages of 9 and 12 from their families from 2005 to 2006.
- The Cambodian National Police discovered sedatives, restraints and child pornography images during a raid of Pepe’s Cambodian residence in 2006.
- Pepe’s case was retried in August 2021 when he was charged with two counts of traveling to a foreign country with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. He was sentenced on Monday.
A 68-year-old retired U.S. Marine Captain was sentenced on Monday to 210 years in federal prison for beating and raping Cambodian children.
Michael Joseph Pepe was convicted for a second time and sentenced on Monday for two counts of traveling to a foreign country with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Los Angeles federal court, reported the Los Angeles Times.
79-year-old woman identified as person of interest after threatening to shoot Cambodians in Philadelphia
A 79-year-old woman identified herself as the author of a letter that threatened to shoot Cambodians in Philadelphia earlier this week, according to state police.
Who got the letter: The typed, one-page letter was sent to the South Philadelphia office of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP).
A Cambodian American man has returned to his home in California five years after self-deporting to Cambodia in response to alleged threats from federal agents who had no clue of his U.S. citizenship.
Sok Loeun, 35, was convicted of possessing marijuana in 2012 — a felony that initiated the revocation of his legal residency status.
Advocates representing Cambodian Americans and supporters from across the United States are protesting the recent arrest of two refugees who fled Cambodia decades ago.
Saman Pho, a 43-year-old construction worker and father of four from Oakland and Sakun Phok, a grandfather in San Jose, were reportedly ordered to report to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement on Sansome Street on Thursday morning.
Music, as it has long been said, is truly a universal language.
For Asian American artist Satica, music has provided a chance to heal her soul, and soon, share some of the most valuable lessons she has learned in life.
A judge in Los Angeles ordered federal immigration officials to temporarily halt any surprise raids on Cambodian immigrants living in the U.S. with deportation orders.
A young Cambodian vendor has captivated netizens around the world after his ability to speak over 10 languages and dialects was caught on film and shared on social media.
Facebook user Venus Gwc posted a short clip of the 10-year-old Khmer boy showing off his linguistic talent while trying to sell souvenirs in Cambodia.
A jealous Cambodian woman was arrested after she cut off her husband’s penis with a kitchen knife on Monday when she suspected that he was cheating on her.
The wife, identified as 24-year-old Karuna, seduced her 40-year-old husband Siripan Sanusun and aroused him by using her hand before cutting his penis clean, according to Workpoint and translated by Coconuts Bangkok.