An accused pedophile was released on bail Wednesday when an Appeals Court of Phnom Penh judge ruled he could go free while his case is being investigated.
German national Andreas Gloeckner, 42, was arrested and charged with debauchery in September for allegedly drugging, raping and making pornographic pictures of two girls, aged 13 and 14, in Siem Reap town.
The Siem Reap provincial court previously ruled that Gloeckner, a Phnom Penh businessman who made frequent trips to Siem Reap, had to stay in the provincial prison until his case came to trial there.
Gloeckner appealed that decision, and on Wednesday, Appeals Court Judge Thou Mony released him on $5,000 bail.
The court kept Gloeckner’s passport.
The judge said in court that he was releasing Gloeckner because of a lack of evidence against him and the alleged victims’ statements were contradictory.
Dy Borima, Gloeckner’s lawyer, argued in court that the German ought to be released because of poor prison conditions and worsening health.
The lawyer added, “I promise that I and my client will not obstruct the investigation or threaten the victims.”
The girls and their parents argued otherwise.
“If he doesn’t stay in prison, he can go away and I won’t know where to find him,” said the older girl’s mother.
The girls claim that Gloeckner first committed debauchery with the 14-year-old early this year. He invited her to his hotel room, then gave her two pills and raped and photographed her while she was drugged and powerless to resist, the girl said.
“He threatened me that if I told anyone he would kill me or reveal the [pornographic images],” she said in an interview Wednesday.
The 13-year-old girl said she met Gloeckner in May. He offered her cleaning and laundry work, then allegedly drugged and assaulted her, she claimed.
The girls will take their request to detain Gloeckner to the Supreme Court, their parents said.