Convicted Pedophile Continues With Marriage Plan, Police Say

Banteay Meanchey province pol­ice said Monday that twice-convicted Belgian pedophile Philippe Des­sart, who recently moved in with the young boy he was jailed for sexually abusing, is continuing with his plans to marry his former victim’s mother.

Provincial anti-human trafficking police chief Oum Sath said that Des­sart, who was released on April 5 from Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar pri­son after finishing a three-year prison term for abusing the then 13-year-old boy, left Cambodia on June 3 following his engagement to the mother, Sao Ny, on May 25.

According to Mr Sath, Dessart has gone to Belgium to complete the “forms for the marriage.”

Dessart, whose original sentence of 18 years in prison was slashed to 3 years by the Appeal Court, a decision that was upheld by the Su­preme Court, left Serei Saophoan district’s Toek Thla commune for Phnom Penh on June 1 with his fian­cee, Mr Sath said.

“We are investigating whether this engagement is a cover up,” the police chief said, adding that Ms Ny’s relatives had shown him pictures of the engagement party, which was attended by village and com­mune chiefs in the Serei Sao­phoan area.

Last month, police and local anti-pedophile organization Action Pour Les Enfants, raised concerns that Dessart would continue his abuse of his former victim, who is now 16, and they were fearful for a younger male sibling also living in the house.

Mr Dessart is a repeat child sex offender who was convicted in Belgium for child rape and torture in 1994 and served 3 years of a 5-year sentence in prison there.

The police chief said that relatives of the family had told him that Dessart visits the home of Ms Ny during the day, but stays at a guesthouse at night.

Samleang Seila, APLE’s country director, said Monday that his organ­iz­ation is working with other child protection organizations to prevent Des­sart from re­tur­n­ing to Cambo­dia.

“We attempt to have his visa denied, we regard this person as undesirable,” Mr Seila said, adding that Dessart intends to make a home in Cambodia.

“He has a pig farm so he intends to settle here for life,” Mr Seila added.


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