Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday convicted a 57-year-old Spanish man in absentia for buying sex from a 14-year-old boy and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
“The court decided to sentence Francisco Pellicer Caules, 57, to 10 years in prison and orders him to pay 8 million riel to the victim’s family for the purchase of a child prostitute based on article 34 of the anti-trafficking law,” presiding Judge Ke Sakhorn announced at the court.
Pellicer Caules was found guilty of paying the boy 1,500 riel, or about $0.38 a day, to have sex with him at Pellicer Caules’ house in Prampi Makara district’s Veal Vong commune a year ago.
Pellicer Caules was still listed as wanted for sex crimes in Cambodia on Interpol’s website, although Spanish news reports state he was arrested in Spain in August.
At yesterday’s hearing, the victim testified that he was invited to live with Pellicer Caules and was promised $50 a month to clean the house.
“The suspect lured me to have sex with him every day for one month, then gave me 1,500 riel for food every day after I had sex with him,” he said.
Peng Maneth, the boy’s lawyer, said yesterday that she welcomed the verdict but that the punishment needed to be carried out either in Cambodia or in Spain.
“The court’s decision is suitable but not unless it is served in jail as well,” she said.
“The defendant ought to serve the jail time in Cambodia,” said deputy prosecutor Chet Khemara, adding that Pellicer Caules could also serve that time in Spain, if the two countries agreed upon it.
Nou Chandeth, Pellicer Caules’ lawyer, said he was unsure if he would appeal the decision because he has never met or has been in contact with his client.
“I have never met him and I only studied the complaint file,” he said. “I don’t know if my client did or did not [commit the crime].”