Phnom Penh Municipal Court Thursday charged American Roger Dale Green, 58, with the sexual abuse of two Cambodian girls but released their mother, citing a lack of evidence, officials said.
“Green was charged with de-bauchery for abusing the girls under Article 8 of the human trafficking law and the case was handed over to the [Investigating] Judge Ms Chan Madina,” Deputy Prose-cutor Ngeth Sarath said.
Statements by the alleged victims, two girls aged 11 and 12 years, did not implicate their mother, Mei Sokha, 50, who was arrested with Green on Monday on suspicion of pimping her daughters to the American, he said. “We have no evidence she was involved in human trafficking, as the trafficking police alleged,” he added.
Keo Thea, deputy chief of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking police department, which carried out Monday’s arrests, said he believed Mei Sokha was guilty but the court had found otherwise.
“The court didn’t have enough evidence to charge her so we freed her,” he said.
In a search of Green’s personal e-mail account, police discovered 10 images of naked girls who appear to be aged about 13, Keo Thea said, adding that the images did not appear to depict either of Green’s alleged victims.
Green’s defense lawyer Theng Mengy said that Mei Sokha’s release showed that the entire case was weak.
“The girls were playing with the toys [Green] brought from the US. He didn’t do anything against the law,” he said.
“They don’t have sufficient evidence to put on my client.”
A woman identifying herself as Green’s daughter Wednesday told media outlets in Green’s home state of Tennessee that her father’s charitable activities with Southeast Asian children had been mistaken for criminal behavior.
“He was helping children and this is what happened,” Keri Jones told the News Channel 5 television station.
“Whatever allegations they made were untrue because I had been in the hotel with him in Viet-nam, and we may have had 10 or 12 kids in the room with us,” she said.