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American pedo gets 10 years

120112_06

Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

American Philip Bruce Shepard, 68, (centre) leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

An American man who paid two boys to have sex with him numerous times will spend the next 10 years in prison after being sentenced in court yesterday.

Oeung Seang, presiding judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said 69-year-old Phillip Bruce Shepard, a medical doctor, will be deported after serving the sentence for sexually assaulting the two brothers, aged 12 and 15.

“Phillip Bruce Shepard is convicted to 10 years in prison. He is ordered to be expelled from Cambodia when he finishes serving his imprisonment,” he said.

Shepard was convicted based on article 34 of Cambodia’s human trafficking and sexual exploitation law, the judge said.

Phnom Penh anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police arrested Shepard at his rental house in Chamkarmon district’s Boueng Keng Kang I commune on July 23 last year following complaints from the two boys.

He was later charged with sexually assaulting them.

Samleang Seila, country director of Action Pour Les Enfants, welcomed the sentence.

“The court’s decision was justice for the victims. I think that through this American man’s conviction, it will be a positive message for other foreign people to know clearly that Cambodia is not a place for purchasing child prostitution or child trafficking,” he told the Post yesterday.

After Shepard’s arrest last July, Keo Thea, the director of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile police, said the victims’ complaints related to several assaults that dated back to 2008.

Police had not taken any action against the two boys for accepting money from Shepard for the sex acts and no compensation would be paid to them, the court heard.

Shepard, who will serve his sentence at Prey Sar prison, and his defence lawyer, Dun Vibol, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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