UK Man Charged for Creating Child Pornography

Following a two-year police in­vestigation, the Phnom Penh Mu­n­­­icipal Court on Saturday charged a 51-year-old British man with producing pornography in­volving girls as young as 8, officials said Tuesday.

Graham McCallum was arrested Nov 25 at his rental home in Cham­kar Mon district’s Tuol Svay Prey II commune, according to Bith Kim­hong, director of the Min­istry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking department.

Bith Kimhong said pornographic images discovered by police in 2006 depict McCallum abusing girls as young as 8 years old.

The belated arrest is significant be­cause “it is important to let [offenders] know that Cambodia has its law and Cambodia is enforcing it and will not allow them to commit such crimes,” Bith Kim­hong said, noting that Mc­Call­um is being held in Prey Sar prison.

McCallum’s arrest is linked to the investigation of convicted US pe­dophile Michael Pepe, Bith Kim­hong said, adding that Mc­Callum and Pepe were friends.

Pepe is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in the US state of Cali­fornia of sexually abusing se­ven girls while working at a university in Phnom Penh. He faces up to 210 years in a US federal prison. Mc­­Callum also taught in Phnom Penh.

“They are friends, and they helped each other to make pornography,” Bith Kimhong said, adding that he did not recall at what school McCallum taught English.

Municipal court Deputy Pro­se­cutor Sok Kalyan said that Mc­Callum’s alleged victims were photographed from 2004 to 2006 and featured girls aged 12 to 14.

Sok Kalyan said the court chose to only charge McCallum for producing porn­o­graphy because it carries the high­est possible penalty of a five- to 10-year pri­son sentence.

Heam Socheat, the attorney who is representing McCallum, said Tuesday that the photos the court is using as evidence are not of Mc­Callum and underaged girls.

“The photos are of Graham [Mc­Callum] and his girlfriend,” he said.

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