Sihanoukville Municipal Court on Tuesday sentenced German national Alexander Moritz Watrin to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing four teenaged boys, the court said Wednesday.
Watrin, 36, was arrested April 10 and charged with debauchery after police received complaints from homeless boys who claimed he had abused them. The court also ordered Watrin to pay $5,000 in compensation to his four victims.
“We did a thorough investigation,” said presiding Judge and Court Director Svay Sisarouth.
The four youths who made the allegations against the German range in age from 11 to 18 years, she said.
Beatrice Magnier, director of anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said what distinguished this case from others was the credibility the court attached to the testimony against the accused.
“Clearly for us it’s a great success for the Cambodian justice system,” Magnier said.
But Svay Sisarouth has been strongly criticized in recent weeks for her controversial decision to release an accused US pedophile and his Cambodian girlfriend, who were charged with debauchery relating to the abuse of two girls aged 13 and 14 in the coastal town.
Terry Darrell Smith was re-arrested later by Cambodian police and deported to the US, where he also faces sexual abuse charges.
Watrin is among at least nine foreigners arrested for sex crimes in Cambodia this year.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Oct 27 will try convicted Belgian sex offender Philippe Dessart, 47, for alleged sex crimes committed against a 13-year-old boy in Phnom Penh. Dessart has already served three years in a Belgian prison for abusing boys in the 1990s.