The US Embassy confirmed yesterday it assisted in the investigation concerning the case of an American man, whom police claimed sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in Preah Sihanouk province. And if Ronald Adams, 51, is found to be responsible for child sex crimes in Cambodia, the embassy added he could face charges in the US.
“The embassy did assist in the Adams’ case just as it has in previous investigations involving US citizens who travel to Cambodia to engage in illicit sex with children,” embassy spokesman John Johnson said in a statement.
“If the investigation by the [Cambodian National Police] reveals that Mr Adams engaged in an illicit sex act with an individual under the age of 18, [the US Immigration, Customs and Enforcement agency] will request that the US State’s Attorney Office file charges against him for violating the US PROTECT act,” he continued.
The 2003 PROTECT act, which stands for Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today, has been employed in the past by the US government to prosecute US citizens who have sex with children abroad.
Child protection workers and police also stated that a US Embassy official helped transport the young girl on Sunday to Phnom Penh to be medically examined for evidence of rape.
Yi Moden, provincial project officer of the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said the US embassy helped transport the girl to the capital’s SOS International health clinic. She had reportedly undergone a similar exam at the Preah Sihanouk provincial hospital.
Police arrested Adams on Friday in response to a complaint filed against him by the alleged victim’s mother, said Suon Sophan, deputy chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking police bureau.
During a search of Adam’s home in Preah Sihanouk city’s Commune 4, police discovered eight ecstasy pills, nine grams of marijuana, various sex toys and 34 compact discs, allegedly depicting naked children, Mr Sophan said, though the faces of the children were not visible.
Adams was charged by the court with producing pornography and drug possession on Sunday and is currently being held at the provincial prison.
Both Mr Moden and Mr Sophan claimed that Adams was involved in Coasters, a popular guesthouse in Sihanoukville, which is a member of the ChildSafe Network, a collection of people, businesses and associations that work to protect Cambodian children from sexual abuse.
Rob Webster, a partner with the guesthouse, said yesterday that Adams had had nothing or “very little” to do with the establishment. He declined to elaborate.
“I really don’t want to discuss it,” he said. “We’re all quite shocked. Everyone is shocked.”