HAWAII – Former Thailand Expat 63-year-old Ronny Lee Waldrip a retired Delta Airlines flight attendant pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Friday to sexually exploiting a child by recording still and video images of him having sex with an underage girl in Thailand and transporting the images into the United States.
Ronny Lee Waldrip told a federal magistrate judge Friday that, “I traveled to Thailand and I had video of the underage girl that I took digital images and brought them into Honolulu.”
Waldrip said images were on a digital camera and laptop computer.
He was facing child pornography, sex tourism and two other sexual exploitation charges, which the federal prosecutor promises to have dismissed at sentencing next May, according their plea deal.
In exchange, Waldrip agreed to accept a prison term of between 17-and-a-half and just under 22 years, and pay $15,000 restitution to each of three underage girls he exploited. The restitution will be deposited into a trust.
Waldrip also has agreed to cooperate in any government investigation against others.
Whenever he gets out of prison he will have to register as a sex offender and will be under court supervision for the rest of his life.
The Department of Homeland Security said it started investigating Waldrip in January 2011, after a person with whom Waldrip was living in Bangkok reported that the former flight attendant was involved in child pornography activities in Thailand.