American on Trial in S’ville on Child Porn, Prostitution Charges

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court tried a 57-year-old American yesterday charged with purchasing sex with a 17-year-old underage prostitute and possessing child pornography, a court official said, adding that the hearing was adjourned yesterday evening and would continue Oct 5.

Presiding Judge Plang Samnang said the case was being adjourned for three weeks to allow the judge to attend a “seminar” in the capital. During the break, Judge Samnang said several witnesses and three other alleged victims would be summoned by the court.

Documents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation pertaining to Alan Arthur Perry’s alleged collection of child pornography will be translated during that time as well, the judge added.

“I delayed the trial until Oct 5 because we cannot question [the witnesses and alleged victims]… between right now and Oct 5,” Judge Samnang said. “I am busy with a seminar in Phnom Penh.”

Mr Perry was arrested in April after police interviewed several boys in Preah Sihanouk City who claimed they were paid to have sex or engage in sexual activity with the American. Child pornography was also allegedly found on two of Mr Perry’s computers after his arrest, said Samleang Seila, country director for anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants.

Both charges carry possible pri­son terms of two to five years. Possession of child pornography is also punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.

Mr Perry is accused of paying for sex with a 17-year-old boy while the American rented a house in Preah Sihanouk City’s Bei commune. Mr Perry, through his attorney, Pich Sorya, denied the charges during yesterday’s hearing.

The victim’s lawyer, Peng Ma­neth, said her client claimed Mr Per­ry had sex with him multiple times while the two lived together in Preah Sihanouk City. Ms Ma­neth added that her client said Mr Perry paid him $15 for one of the encounters.

Mr Seila said yesterday that the FBI documents were presented to the court yesterday but that officials had difficulty understanding them because they were not translated into Khmer.

 

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