Suspected Sex Offender Stabs Himself

Suspected sex offender Bart “Lucky” Lauwaert caused a disturbance in the yard of Siem Reap prison and stabbed himself Tues­day after a haircut went awry, prison and human rights officials said Thursday.

Siem Reap prison Director Chhem Savuth said that Lauwaert was merely expressing his displeasure with a haircut that he thought was too short.

Chhem Savuth said that “Lucky got angry with a barber who cut his hair too short and then he grabbed the scissors and cut himself near his armpit. He just cut himself a little. Lucky did not try to commit suicide, he just argued with the barber and then cut his armpit.”

He only bled a little bit, the prison director added.

Lauwaert, 36, was arrested was taken into custody on Aug 2 after three young girls accused him of sexually assaulting them. A day after his arrest, another Australian Clint Betteridge, 35, was arrested and accused having of sexual relations with the same girls.

Siem Reap Penal Police Chief Ou Em said at the time of the ar­rests that the two Australians—both English teachers—had threat­ened to fire the girls, who they had employed as maids, as a means of coercing sex out of the them.

A prison researcher for the human rights group Licadho who visited the prison Thursday afternoon confirmed that “Lucky did not try to kill himself. He was just angry with the barber.”

Shortly after his arrest, Lauwaert said he was getting along fine in prison and compared life there to a “holiday camp.”

These days, however, Lauwaert is a “tough” prisoner to deal with. “He gets angry and is frequently in a bad mood,” Chhem Savuth said.

The human rights worker also said that Lauwaert has been a problematic prisoner. He has been separated from the other prisoners because he is “always angry and doesn’t follow prison rules.”

The Australians are two of four Westerners currently awaiting trial on sex charges.


Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.