A US national was charged by Siem Reap Provincial Court on Thursday over allegations of sexual crimes against a minor.
In a statement on Saturday, Action Pour Les Enfants said the suspect is 56-years-old and hails from Massachusetts.
It said the suspect was charged with purchasing child prostitution, child pornography and rape under the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.
Brigadier General Duong Thavary, deputy chief of provincial police in charge of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, yesterday said John Patrick Reidy was arrested by police in Siem Reap city on Wednesday at his rental home in Svay Dangkum commune after the victim’s parent filed a complaint.
“The suspect acknowledged that he had sex with the victim, but he said the victim told him he was 18, not 16,” she said. “They had sexual encounters multiple times since the beginning of this year. We arrested him based on the victim’s family complaint.”
According to APLE, the suspect was arrested after it reported its suspicion.
“Police commenced the investigation immediately after APLE reported the possible crime,” it said. “APLE received preliminary information from an NGO representative who obtained the concern from a community member.”
It said that according to police, the suspect was living with a Cambodian male adult who confirmed the two were in a romantic relationship.
“With approval from the court, police conducted a premise search and found a number of possibly incriminating items, including phones, vibrators, Viagra tablets and Vaseline,” it said. “Police confiscated these items for evidential purposes.”
“During the initial search of the two mobile phones, investigators found naked photographs of boys, including photographs of the child who disclosed the sexual abuse,” it added. “The police will continue the investigation with assistance from experts to collect further evidence from the mobile phones.”
It noted that APLE will provide legal support to the victim’s family.
“APLE will provide legal aid services to the boy and his family if they request so during their participation in the legal justice seeking process,” it said.
Mr Reidy’s arrest marks the 12th arrest of a child sex offender in cases initiated by APLE this year.