French Photographer Accused of Molestation

A French photographer suspected of sexually abusing young boys is in the custody of Phnom Penh police, an NGO director and officers said Wednesday.

Heng Pov, deputy chief of mu­nicipal police, confirmed that Jacques Albertini was arrested but said he could not discuss the case until a police investigation was finished.

He said the investigation could conclude as early as today and Albertini will then appear in court.

Albertini, 61, was arrested Tuesday at the house he rented in Chamkar Mon district, according to Darnaudet Thierry, director of the NGO Action Pour Les Enfants. He said his NGO had been monitoring the man’s activities for a few months and assisted in the arrest.

At least five street children in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville have reported that Albertini had performed oral sex on them and then made them reciprocate, Thierry said.

Albertini, a photographer in his native Paris, has been in Cam­bodia about a year, Thierry said. A Web site advertising a photography studio operated by a Jacques Albertini said he specialized in fashion photos of adolescents.

Thierry said that there is little hard evidence in the case which will weaken the case in front of a judge. Action Pour Les Enfants has been involved in several investigations and arrests of foreign sex crimes suspects in re­cent months.

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