Phnom Penh Municipal Court found a French national guilty of debauchery Friday, sentencing him to 15 years in Prey Sar prison.
During the two-hour trial, Olivier Frenoy, 35, was also ordered to pay $125 in compensation to a boy who he was found to have sexually abused.
Frenoy was arrested in the room of a Phnom Penh guest house with two boys, ages 14 and 15, on Dec 19, 2003.
Police found a memory card from a digital camera in the room, containing pornographic images and at least one photograph of an underage boy posing in a sexually explicit position.
Speaking through a translator, Frenoy denied having sex with either of the boys, and said the man featured in the pornographic photos, which were shown in court, was not him.
“I didn’t know why police arrested me,” he told Prosecutor Khut Sopheang.
One of Frenoy’s victims, now age 15, told the court Frenoy had molested him.
Frenoy’s lawyer, Kao Soupha, asked the court to drop the charges against his client, saying Frenoy had not intended to have sex with the boys.
A French doctor also identified Frenoy as needing treatment for mental health difficulties, Kao Soupha said.
Yung Phanit, a lawyer for Action Pour Les Enfants, an NGO that helped investigate Frenoy, said he had called for Frenoy to pay compensation of $5,000 to the victim present in court.
“This is too little,” he said of the $125. “The boy will suffer physically and mentally in the long term,” he added.
Stephanie Remion, APLE director, welcomed the verdict. “We are very satisfied to see that Cambodian justice has done its job,” she said.
But she noted Frenoy spent 7 months more in jail than is legally permitted in pre-trial detention.