British national Michael Jones had his sentence reduced by three years yesterday by the Appeal Court, but the 55-year-old convicted of committing indecent acts against four girls between seven and 11 will still be deported once he gets out of prison, child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) said.
The pedophile was sentenced to eight years in jail by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in April for purchasing child prostitution and committing indecent acts against the girls.
He was arrested in June 2014 based on statements his victims made to police.
Failure to appropriately punish sex offenders can traumatize their victims, child-protection workers say. Sophorn Him, APLE’s manager for social work, said “the successful conviction of Jones has [had] a significant impact on the girls’ rehabilitation.”
Vando Khoem, APLE’s deputy director of field operations, welcomed the decision to uphold the lower court’s order to deport the pedophile after he completes his sentence. Research conducted by APLE earlier this year found that 26 of 115 convicted foreign child-sex offenders had at least one previous conviction.
Samleang Seila, APLE’s executive director, reiterated yesterday that it is necessary to deport all foreign nationals convicted of child abuse here. Cambodia lacks the capacity to monitor pedophiles once they get out of jail and this makes it more likely that they will sexually assault more children, he said previously.