A Dutchman accused of using a furry toy hat to endear himself to young boys for sex was charged Tuesday in Phnom
Penh Municipal Court with debauchery and taking pornographic pictures.
Rene Paul Martin Aubel, 48, will reappear in court today to hear Judge Kim Sophorn’s decision on whether he will be detained for trial. If convicted of
the charges, he could face between 10 and 20 years in prison.
Police raided Aubel’s guest house room in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district Thursday afternoon and found him with
Police and court officials allege that he had routinely come to Cambodia over several years as a so-called “sex tourist.”
A total of seven boys, some as young as 10-years-old, claim to have had sex with Aubel on his trips to Cambodia, and some began having relations with him at the age of 9, said Keo Thea, deputy chief of the municipal police’s minor protection office. A collection of more than 50
photographs of naked boys were confiscated from his room, he said.
Also entered into evidence was a hat styled in the shape of a lion’s head and mane, which Aubel was known to wear in public to attract attention and strike a rapport with young boys, Municipal Court Prosecutor Nget Sarath said.
“Wearing this hat, the kids would run up to him and then he would lure the kids for sex,” Nget Sarath said. “This hat can draw the kids’ attention.”
A tall man with a bushy mustache, Aubel was questioned in the courthouse through Tuesday morning before he was returned to police custody.
Police ordered the raid on a tip from Action Pour Les Enfants, an NGO that investigates foreigners suspected of pedophilia.
Director Hang Vibol said Friday that police had strong evidence to convict Aubel.
“The pictures that he had been saving are enough to punish him,” Hang Vibol said.