Siem Reap, on 21 February 2017, the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police in Siem Reap arrested a 79-year-old American suspect on charges of child sex abuse involving a 11-year-old boy. A Cambodian man was also arrested on the same day for allegedly facilitating the abuse. On 23 February 2017, the Siem Reap provincial court decided to charge the suspect with solicitation of child prostitution and sexual intercourse with minor under 15 years.
The suspect visited Siem Reap a couple of times in the last two years where he got to know his young victims through the community education project he managed in a village of Sror Nge commune. His ongoing relationship with underage boys arose suspicion and APLE Cambodia was contacted to look into the situation.
“This is not a new technique child molesters would use to groom children and gain trust from the family and the community to some extent,” said Vando Khoem, Program Director at APLE. We’ve started to provide all the necessary support for the victims and will work on their behalf to seek meaningful justice for them, added Vando.
Speaking to the police’s effort, Seila Samleang, Executive Director of APLE Cambodia said, “We wish to praise police for their prompt action to investigate this case and stop the abuse of potentially many other children in the community.”