Cambodia jails US doc for child sex

2012-01-11 09:15

Phnom Penh – A Cambodian court today sentenced an American doctor to 10 years in prison for paying for sex with two underaged boys.

Phillip Bruce Shepard from Michigan, was arrested in the capital Phnom Penh last July for abusing the brothers aged 12 and 14.

“He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for purchasing child prostitution,” prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot at Phnom Penh Municipal Court told AFP.

The court also ordered the 68-year-old to be deported after serving his jail term, he said.

Shepard was working as a doctor at a private clinic in Phnom Penh before his arrest, according to project officer Khoem Vando from the anti-paedophile group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) which provided legal counsel for the victims.

APLE first began monitoring the American in 2007 when he was seen walking into a hotel with two boys, he added.

Dozens of foreigners have been jailed for child sex crimes or deported to face trial in their home countries since Cambodia launched an anti-paedophilia push in 2003 in a bid to shake off its reputation as a haven for sex predators.

But to the dismay of child protection activists, at least three convicted offenders were freed by a royal pardon last month.

These included a Russian businessman who became the focus of Cambodia’s largest-ever paedophilia case after buying sex from 17 girls.

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