Sihanoukville Municipal Court charged a 26-year-old Russian tourist with debauchery Thursday for allegedly sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in his guesthouse room, Chief Prosecutor Meas Sopheak said.
Nikita Belov, an IT engineer, was arrested Tuesday as he left his guesthouse in Mittapheap district with the boy, who police originally identified as being 14-years-old.
“According to the [police] report, the boy is 11-years-old,” Meas Sopheak said by telephone, adding that he did not know whether Belov had abused other children at the coastal resort.
An Chhun, deputy chief of Sihanoukville’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection police unit, said that Belov had allegedly attempted to abuse other boys after arriving in Sihanoukville on Jan 2, but was unsuccessful.
“He was going to commit debauchery with another three to four boys,” he said, adding that it marks the first charging of a foreign suspected pedophile this year.
Samleang Seila, country director for anti-pedophile NGO Action pour les enfants, which helped police with the investigation, alleged that Belov had abused a total of three boys aged between 8 and 14.
Samleang Seila said Belov had approached a total of 20 boys and witnesses saw him at the beach drawing penises on pieces of paper as a means of explaining the illegal activity he wanted the boys to engage in.
“He was trying to lure them into sexual activity with him,” Samleang Seila said, adding that Belov used the pictures drawn on paper as he could not speak Khmer with the boys. Belov was also seen on the beach drawing penises in the sand with a stick while young boys huddled around him, Samleang Seila said.
“It was because of the language problem. He was unable to explain what he wanted to do with the boys,” he said.
Officials at the Russian Embassy could not be reached for comment January 11.