French Men Arrested for Sex With Boys in Battambang

Police on Tuesday arrested two French nationals in Battambang City for paying to have sex with two boys under the age of 18, ac­cording to police and anti-human trafficking NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).

Anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police raided the hotel room shared by the two French nationals, Jean Vidon, 67, and Denis Page, 63, after APLE tipped them off that Vidon had been seen taking a teenage boy back to his guesthouse, the organization’s director, Samleang Sei­la, said yesterday.

“We informed the police after we received information that Vi­don had brought a child back to the guesthouse,” Mr Seila said.

When police burst into the ho­tel room, Vidon was in the act of having sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old boy, according to APLE.

Page was arrested shortly after Vidon, when another teenage boy, 15, who was found near the guesthouse, alleged Page had paid him for sex.

“We arrested Page and Vidon for buying sex from underage boys,” said Battambang provincial police chief Sar Thet.

He added that the 17-year-old had been paid $20 and the 15-year-old $10 for having sex with the men.

“They are being held in provincial police custody for questioning and will be sent to court [to­day] to be charged,” he said.

The two boys involved will be provided with legal representation by APLE.

“Judicial procedure is under way,” Laurence Bernardi, first secretary at the French Embassy in Phnom Penh said, declining to comment further.

According to the Law on Sup­pression of Human Traf­ficking and Sexual Exploi­tation, Vidon and Page could face be­tween two and five years in prison if found guilty of procuring child prostitutes.

      (Additional reporting by Kate Bartlett)


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