Frenchman charged with debauchery in Cambodia

4th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PHNOM PENH, Aug 6 (AFP) - A Cambodian court has charged a French bar manager working in the capital with debauchery, the legal term for sex with children, a court prosecutor said Friday.

PHNOM PENH, Aug 6 (AFP) - A Cambodian court has charged a French bar manager working in the capital with debauchery, the legal term for sex with children, a court prosecutor said Friday.

Michel Blanchard, 39, who has lived in the kingdom since 2001, was arrested at his home Tuesday after police were tipped off by child protection activists.

"He was charged on Thursday with committing debauchery against a lot of underage boys," Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Uk Savuth told AFP.

Police earlier accused Blanchard of paedophilia with nine boys aged as young as 12. The age of consent in Cambodia is 16.

Hang Vibol, director of Action Pour les Enfants (Action for Children) who has previously worked with police to catch paedophiles, said the group had been trailing Blanchard for two months.

Blanchard is being detained while a judge investigates the charges.

At least 21 foreigners have been jailed in impoverished Cambodia or deported to face trial since 2003 as the kingdom attempts to stamp out its reputation as a paedophile haven.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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