Two French men sentenced over child sex in Asia
Both men were found guilty of travelling to Southeast Asia for sex with child prostitutes and filming their encounters.STRASBOURG – Two French men accused of frequenting child prostitutes in Southeast Asia and recording their encounters were sentenced on Wednesday to the maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
The court in the eastern French town of Colmar also issued fines for Robert Chung, 72, and Jean-Marc Malgarini, 51, of EUR 70,000 and EUR 50,000 respectively.
Both were accused of travelling to Cambodia regularly and filming their encounters with girls under 15.
They were prosecuted for having "solicited, accepted or obtained" sexual relations with prostitutes under 15, as well as for importing and possessing child pornography.
Malgarini told the court he regretted his visits to Cambodia and Thailand - around 30, according to visas found in his passport - but argued that girls there would "jump" on him.
"You don't realise," he said. "When you go there, you suddenly have five or six girls who jump on you."
Questioned about some 20 films seized as well as dozens of photos on his mobile phone showing the suspects with young girls, Chung claimed to have recorded the encounters for "aesthetic" reasons.
Chung, a former doctor now stripped of his licence, said he was a lover of artistic images.
Malgarini was arrested in 2007 in connection with a probe linked to an Italian paedophile website. Chung was arrested shortly after at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
French authorities were able to intervene in the case due to universal jurisdiction for sex tourism allegations, a measure aimed at protecting children.
The two men are also to pay EUR 12,600 to children's rights associations.
AFP / Expatica