Crime & Justice

Santa Monica man expected to plead guilty to sex tourism charges

A 75-year-old former Santa Monica resident with a previous child-sex conviction is expected to plead guilty today in Los Angeles federal court to traveling to Cambodia to have sex with boys.

Jack Louis "Dad" Sporich, most recently a resident of Sedona, Ariz., was arrested by Cambodian national authorities in February, 2009, after two 12-year-old boys told of being repeatedly molested by the man, according to a plea agreement filed May 7 in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

According to an affidavit in support of the charges, witnesses alleged that Sporich drove a motor bike through the streets of the city of Siem Riep, dropping Cambodian currency as a way to attract children.

Last summer, Sporich was expelled from Cambodia and brought to Los Angeles, where he was arrested pursuant to a warrant in the case.

Sporich is facing a statutory maximum of 120 years in federal prison, but his plea agreement states that prosecutors are instead recommending a term of 10 years behind bars and a lifetime period of supervised release.

The document also states that as part of his deal, Sporich will pay an amount up to $30,000 to be deposited in a fund for the education of the boys he had sex with.

In 1987, Sporich was convicted in Ventura County of lewd acts with a child under 14 years of age and sentenced to 18 years behind bars, according to court papers.

The defendant was charged as a result of operation "Twisted Traveler," an ongoing effort by federal law enforcement to identify and prosecute "sex tourists" who travel to Cambodia to engage in illicit sex with children, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman said.