US Sex Suspect Detained

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating judge or­dered Monday that James Curtis Parks be detained in Prey Sa prison during a pretrial investigation into allegations that he had sex with a minor.

Court Director Sao Sopheary will investigate the case against Parks, who was charged Friday with rape and indecent assault. Parks, 57, was arrested Wed­nesday after police found him in a hotel room with the girl. Court officials said the girl was 15, though police had said she was 14.

Lay Thi Lang, 22, who authorities say introduced Parks to the girl, was arrested over the weekend and will be held at Prey Sa on charges of procuring the girl.

Ang Udom, Parks’ lawyer, said his client had no charges to answer for because he neither assaulted nor raped the girl, whom he said came willingly to Parks’ hotel room. “Maybe he had sex with an under­age girl but he was not charged with that,” Ang Udom said. “If you say something is unlawful, you must have a law first.”

Parks, a US citizen, said he was innocent, claiming he was arrested because he was trying to get the young girl out of the city’s thriving sex industry.

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