The Kandal Provincial Court jailed a 50-year-old Frenchman on Thursday for allegedly paying for child prostitution after more than a dozen boys came forward with allegations against him. In Phnom Penh, a 56-year-old German national was sent to Prey Sar prison on Thursday to await trial for sexually abusing five boys, court officials said Friday.
The Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department arrested Bernard Louis Francois Soudeller on Monday at his rented house in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district. The parents of 13 children aged between 7 and 13 have filed complaints against him.
Deputy provincial prosecutor Tep Monin said the alleged victims said Mr. Soudeller gave them toys or small sums of money to have sex with him.
“[He] was charged with purchasing child prostitution and sent to prison on Thursday evening,” Mr. Monin said. “The victims said the suspect gave them 500 to 1,000 riel [$0.12 to $0.25] and some other things like a bicycle in exchange for having sex.”
According to Mr. Monin, the Frenchman has denied the charges and claimed he was simply a businessman who had been trying to develop the local tourist industry.
Keo Thea, chief of the Phnom Penh municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said German national Udo Sabiniewicz, who was arrested in Chbar Ampov district on Tuesday, was charged with five counts of underage sex abuse.
“The court charged the German national with indecent acts against minors under the age of 15,” he said.
The jailing of the two European men—the latest middle-aged Westerners to be accused or convicted of abusing children in Cambodia—comes two days after 17 child protection groups released a statement expressing their “outrage” over the imminent release of Philippe Broaly, a former judge in France and director of Enfants du Cambodge, who sexually abused five boys over a period of several years.
He received a 14-month prison sentence, with 5 1/2 months suspended, and is due to be released at the end of this month but will not be deported.