American tried for buying child prostitute, possessing child porn; no verdict

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, Mr Sophal 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,” Mr Sophal 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 in prison. 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 that but officials had difficulty understanding them because they were not translated into Khmer.

 

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.