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British man charged in Siem Reap

SIEM Reap provincial court charged a British man yesterday with purchasing child prostitution and committing indecent acts with minors, a court prosecutor said.

Siem Reap provincial prosecutor Sok Keo Bandith said the court had charged Robert Layland, 54, and forwarded the case to an investigating judge following interrogations of Layland and four boys, aged between 14 and 18, whom the Briton allegedly abused.

“Further decisions will be made by the investigating judge,” Sok Keo Bandith said. “The accused person, however, has denied the charge.”

Layland was arrested on Monday afternoon in Siem Reap town. Sok Keo Bandith said the four boys were junk collectors and street children, and Layland confirmed during his interrogation that he had invited them to work in his souvenir shop.

Sun Bunthorn, chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection office, said on Monday that Layland had promised the four boys a monthly salary of US$50 in October, but the boys said in interviews that they had never been paid.

Cheu Sok, the investigating judge, and Sun Socheat, Layland’s defense lawyer, could not be reached for comment yesterday.



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