The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday convicted a British national of purchasing child prostitution and committing indecent acts against minors, sentencing him to eight years in prison and ordering him to pay a total of $5,000 in fines and compensation.
Michael Glyn Jones, 55, was found guilty of having sex with an 11-year-old girl and then paying the child and her mother. He was also convicted of molesting three other girls between the ages of 7 and 9.
Mr. Jones was arrested outside Olympic Market on June 24 after the victims’ mothers lodged complaints about the abuse and municipal anti-human trafficking police launched a joint investigation with child protection group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).
“The court decides to sentence Michael Glyn Jones to eight years in jail and fine him 4 million riel [about $1,000] for purchasing child prostitution and committing indecent acts against minors under the age of 15,” Presiding Judge Ly Sokleng announced in the courtroom Monday.
“After he finishes his jail term, the court also bans him from Cambodia,” the judge added. “[The court] orders the defendant to pay 8 million riel [about $2,000] to each of the two plaintiffs.”
During his trial in February, Mr. Jones denied the charges against him. He claimed that he simply took the younger girls—who had been begging for money near NagaWorld casino—to eat ice cream and that he went with the 11-year-old girl to the movie theater at Sorya Mall.
After the verdict was read out Monday, Mr. Jones announced that he would appeal the decision before being escorted out of the courtroom by prison guards.
Outside the courtroom, Ro Binike, Mr. Jones’ lawyer, said that insufficient evidence had been produced to prove his client’s guilt.
“[T]here was not enough evidence to inculpate my client,” he said. “We cannot accept it, so we will appeal.”
Samleang Seila, country director of APLE, said he was happy with the court’s decision.
“This man committed an extremely serious crime against young girls and has to be held responsible,” he said.