Siem Reap: On February 26th, 2020, The Siem Reap Provincial Court pronounced a verdict against John Patrick REIDY, a 56 year old U.S. citizen from Massachusetts, sentencing him to 8 years of imprisonment for the sexual offences of Purchase of Child Prostitution and Child Pornography as stated under articles 34 and 41 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. The court also ordered Reidy to pay a compensation of 20,000,000 (20 million) Riel (approximately $5,000) to one boy victim of 14 years of age, as well as a fine of 200,000 Riel.
In February 2019, APLE referred the suspected child sexual abuse case to the Siem Reap Anti- Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection (AHTJP) police after receiving a report from an NGO working directly with communities in the Siem Reap province.
The police commenced the investigation and collected the evidence which led to the arrest of the suspect on July 17th of 2019. During the investigation by the police, it was discovered that Reidy groomed his victims from the streets in Siem Reap’s pub street and near the Siem Reap river. He lured his victims and took them to his place to sexually abuse them.
This case is the second involving American citizens standing trial in Cambodia for child sexual abuse related offenses in 2020. Both trials were held in the Siem Reap provincial court, however, one had his case returned to the prosecutor for re-consideration to changing the charge from misdemeanor to felony.
“I welcome the conviction by the Siem Reap provincial court, and would call for deportation of foreign child sex offenders. Deportation shall be made mandatory by law to ensure continued prevention and protection of those children at risk of being sexually victimized”, said Vando Khoem, APLE’s Child Protection Specialist.
APLE Cambodia is currently providing legal and social services to the victim, and has coordinated with a partner NGO in Siem Reap for the victim to access long-term recovery services.