Siem Reap Provincial Court charged a Canadian man with attempted rape Tuesday after police arrested him for allegedly sexually abusing a 13-year-old beggar in his apartment, officials said Thursday.
Richard Beaulac, a 35-year-old from Quebec, allegedly picked up the girl, along with three other female street children, in a tuk-tuk and took them back to his apartment in Siem Reap town at 4 am Sunday, said Sun Bunthang, provincial anti-human trafficking police chief.
Beaulac then sent three of the girls away before molesting the remaining girl, Sun Bunthang said, adding that the other girls immediately alerted the police.
Beaulac told police that he and the girl lay together naked in his bed, but he denies molesting her, Sun Bunthang said.
Beaulac entered Cambodia on Jan 1 and had been working as an English teacher in Siem Reap town, he said.
Sous La, an investigating judge at the provincial court, confirmed that Beaulac has been charged with attempted rape.
Somath Khun, an English teacher who said he acted as Beaulac’s translator with the police, said Beaulac is innocent and claimed that police have demanded $7,000 in return for his freedom.
“He didn’t do anything. Everything was set up,” Somath Khun said, claiming that the victim’s family is also trying to get money from his colleague. “The police told me that if you have $7,000 [Beaulac] can get out of jail today,” Somath Khun claimed.
Sun Bunthang denied Somath Khun’s allegations. “We do not get involved with extorting money,” he said.
The girl is currently in the care of the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, said Oung Chanthol, CWCC director.