Belgian Man Detained on Debauchery Charges

A Belgian national was detained at Prey Sar on Friday after being charged with debauchery on Thurs­­­day, a senior Foreigner Po­lice Department official said.

The man, identified by anti-trafficking NGO Action Pour Les En­fants as Ruben Joseph Emmanuel, was arrested Monday accused of al­­legedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, Pheng Phay, Fo­reign­er Police Department bureau chief said.

“The suspect denies all allegations, but his wife told authorities that her husband usually brought young girls to his house and sometimes had oral sex with young girls,” Pheng Phay said, adding that the suspect is married to a Cam­bodian woman.

Pheng Phay said that the suspect has been in Cambodia since 1994, and works as an English teach­er at a private school in Phnom Penh. The suspect was arrested in Boeng Keng Kang III commune, fol­lowing a complaint made by the al­leged victim’s mother, Pheng Phay said.

APLE investigated Emmanuel last year on suspicion of child sex crimes, and has offered legal assistance to the family of his alleged vic­tim, but the family has declined, Ste­phanie Remion, APLE director said Friday.

“Police are not telling us anything,” she said.

The Belgian Consulate said Fri­day that it had not been informed of the arrest, but added that police are not officially obliged to do so.

“We are always ready to be in­volved if we can help to see that all the rules are being strictly en­forced…but we never interfere with the Cambodian judicial system,” a consular official said.

A Foreigner Police official said Friday that he was not authorized to let the suspect speak with re­port­ers.

 

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