A French national was charged with debauchery at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday as US authorities prepared to extradite another man suspected of sex crimes.
Olivier Frenoy, 32, could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison if convicted under the country’s anti-trafficking and sexual exploitation law. He is at Prey Sar prison awaiting trial.
Frenoy was arrested at a guesthouse Friday night in the company of two boys, ages 14 and 15, police said. More than 60 pornographic pictures of those boys and others were confiscated from the room, police said.
Investigating Judge Buning Bunnary said she felt pity for the suspect, believed to be a postman in his native France. Crying throughout his questioning, Frenoy said he did not know sex with underage boys was illegal in Cambodia, she said.
“He showed great dismay for his wrongdoing,” Buning Bunnary said. Frenoy had traveled in and out of Cambodia several times in the past nine months, said Darnaudet Thierry, president of the NGO Action Pour Les Enfants.
In a separate case, US national Richard Arthur Schmidt, 61, is expected to return to the municipal court today for further questioning. Police arrested Schmidt at a guesthouse in Chamkar Mon district on Monday afternoon and said they had evidence the man had sex with several young boys.
Officers from the US Customs Service were en route to Cambodia on Tuesday to prepare for Schmidt’s extradition for trial in the US, said Thierry, whose NGO cooperated in the investigations of both Schmidt and Frenoy.
A US-Cambodian agreement allows the US to extradite suspected sex offenders.
Police are seeking a charge of debauchery, said Pol Phiethey, chief of Municipal Foreign Police. He said police had located and were questioning at least two boys believed to have been involved with Schmidt.