US Citizen Found With 2 Boys Faces Charges

A 61-year-old US citizen who po­lice found with two boys in a guest house this week was charged with debauchery Thurs­day in Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Prosecutor Nget Sarath said Richard Arthur Schmidt was in the possession of several pictures of nude boys when police raided his room Monday. Two boys in­volved in the case are 13 and one is 10, he said. Arriving at court Thursday morning, Schmidt hid his face from reporters and cameras as he entered a room for questioning with Nget Sarath.

A US Customs Service official was also at the court, indicating that Schmidt could be extradited for trial in the US. Schmidt, from the US state of Ma­ryland, re­mained in the custody of Muni­cipal Foreigner Po­lice on Thurs­day. If convicted he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Meanwhile, a French national was charged with debauchery Tuesday in a separate case at the court this week involving foreigners. Police said they discovered Olivier Fre­noy, 34, in the company of two boys, ages 14 and 15, on Dec 19 in a Phnom Penh guest house.

Police say they also found in Frenoy’s bathroom dozens of photos of nude boys contained in a digital camera memory card. A blanket was hanging over the room’s window, according to Darnaudet Thierry of the NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, which assisted in both investigations.

A postman in his native France, Frenoy is being detained at Prey Sar prison.

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