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British national tried for molesting Cambodian brothers

A British national accused of molesting two brothers, aged 6 and 14, was tried at Siem Reap provincial court on Friday for indecent acts and sued for 20 million riel (US$4,930) in compensation.

William Freeman, 58, denied all charges against him in a three-hour hearing that included claims from his alleged victims that he invited them to his house and showed them cartoons on his phone, then played them pornographic material.

“I did nothing,” said Freeman. “However, I haven’t any proof or witnesses.”

The 14-year-old said Freeman had made the two boys watch sex videos.

“I watched [the movies] and then I realised that it wasn’t a good movie for children to watch,” he said.

While watching the films, the 14-year-old said, Freeman touched the two boys’ genitals.

Freeman was arrested on March 6 in Kokchak commune in the province’s Siem Reap district, in a rural village near where the boys resided, Doung Thavery, a major in the Siem Reap Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit, said.

Thavery said Freeman has resided in Cambodia since May 2011 as a tourist with plans of opening a restaurant.

The victims’ lawyer, Hong Sambath, said she has yet to see evidence of Freeman’s innocence.

“Freeman has no witness to prove that he didn’t [molest the boys],” Sambath said. “I would like to suggest to the court to deport him from Cambodia and order him to pay compensation to victims.”

Siem Reap provincial deputy prosecutor Heng Peng said the verdict will be announced on September 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thik Kaliyann at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com reporting from Siem Reap town

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