The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday held a closed-door hearing for a British national charged with debauchery for abusing three children aged 8 to 12, according to presiding Judge Kim Rathnarin.
Richard Fruin, 36—who had been teaching children in a private English language school in Phnom Penh—was arrested in October last year in a hotel in Daun Penh district where they found him with a shirtless eight-year-old boy.
The raid came after they received a complaint from the family of two brothers he is also charged with abusing. Richard Fruin had a prior criminal record having served one year in prison in the U.K. for the production of child pornography.
Following Thursday’s hearing, the victims’ lawyer Chea Nara said Richard Fruin had touched the victims indecently while promising to get them into a good school.
The suspect’s defense lawyer, Sam Sokong, said his client was innocent of the charges against him. “Mr. Fruin was only trying to help find a school for these poor children,” he said.
A verdict is due March 24.