School Official in Court Over Child Sex Abuse

The deputy principal of a Phnom Penh international school was due in court for questioning today after he was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 5-year-old student, according to a ministry official on Tuesday.

Mark Andrew Smith, 39, a U.K. national and father of two, would be sent to court today as police had found evidence of abuse, said Chou Bun Eng, secretary of state with the Interior Ministry and vice chair of the national committee to combat human trafficking.

Ms. Bun Eng declined to comment on the details.

Mr. Smith was arrested on Friday as he left Golden Bridge International School.

His girlfriend, Sem Malis, on Tuesday said she had spoken to him at the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, where he is being held, but denied there was any evidence against him.

“It is very unclear…because there was not enough evidence,” to detain him, she said.

The arrest happened two days after a Cambodian woman, known as Viriya MC, live streamed a video on Facebook describing the girl’s alleged abuse.

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