An Anchorage man was convicted Monday on two charges in a case centered on multiple trips to Cambodia, where he engaged in sexual activities with young girls and recorded them.


Jason Jayavarman was convicted by a federal jury on a single count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and a single count of attempted travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Audrey Renschen.


Jayavarman, the owner and operator of Jason’s International Youth Hostel, was arrested in August of 2013. His arrest followed an undercover investigation initiated by a “concerned citizen’s anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.


Beginning in 2013, an undercover FBI investigator began acting as if he “and a couple of his friends wanted to travel to Cambodia” and asked “how to get a child in Cambodia and if he could arrange for a child to be delivered to him and his friends,” according to court documents. During this time, the FBI investigator had several conversations with Jayavarman — in person and over the phone — about Jayavarman’s trips to Cambodia between 2009 and 2013. He and the investigator discussed Jayavarman’s engagement in sexual activities with girls as young as 12 years old, with each encounter recorded in video and still image format. He also gave the undercover investigator tips on how to transport illicit footage between Cambodia and Alaska.


Following his 2013 arrest, Jayavarman waived his Miranda rights and confessed to many sexual encounters with at least one young girl on his trips, defending his actions by stating “it is cultural” in Cambodia, according to court documents.


FBI agents were able to obtain a search warrant for his residence — listed as the same address as the youth hostel. Authorities seized 14 SD cards, six computers and two cameras — as well as other storage device. The FBI also found “numerous homemade videos,” which corresponded with Jayavarman’s confessions before and after his arrest, court documents say. Further evidence supported claims by Jayavarman — prior to his arrest — that he planned another trip for Aug. 21, 2013.


Jayavarman was indicted in August 2013 on six charges. The charges in the first indictment are part of a closed case, according to court records. He was indicted again in September 2013 on two charges, both of which the jury found him guilty of on March 23, 2015.


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