Frenchman jailed for Cambodian child sex

16th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

On Tuesday a Cambodian court jailed a Frenchman for one year after he was convicted of soliciting sex from an underage girl.

Jacques Collinet, 61, was arrested in April with the 15-year-old and denied having sex with her, saying he only hired the girl for a massage.
However, Judge Chhay Kong of Phnom Penh Municipal Court found him guilty and sentenced him to three years in prison, before ordering him to serve only one year behind bars and to remain on probation for five years.
The judge also ordered Collinet to pay USD 500 in compensation to the victim.
A Greek national, Christos Kapalios, was arrested at the same time as Collinet. He has not yet gone on trial.
The Cambodian rights group which helped with the arrest of the two men have criticised the sentence, saying that the authorities have been too lenient with the man.
Samleang Seila, director of Action for the Children, said that the Frenchman's jail term was "light and makes him and other paedophiles not fear to commit such crimes."
Cambodia has struggled to shed its reputation as a haven for paedophiles, putting dozens of foreigners in jail for child sex crimes or deporting them to face trial in their home countries since 2003.

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