Ian Paul Bower at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, where he was sentenced to two years in prison and fined about $1,000 and ordered to pay $2,500 in compensation for sexually abusing five boys. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a British man to two years in prison, fined him US$1,000 and ordered his deportation upon release for sexually abusing five boys aged from 11 to 15 years old at a pagoda in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district last year.
Judge Yeth Molin said that 46-year-old Ian Paul Bower was ordered to pay compensation of $2,500 to the five victims in addition to the $1,000 fine.
“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordered to immediately expel Bower Ian Paul from Cambodia when he completes his jail term,” she read from the verdict yesterday.
Bower had been previously charged with the sexual assault of two brothers in 2007, but Phnom Penh Municipal Court dropped the charge after the victims reversed their statements, child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants said yesterday.
He was previously convicted to one year and six months in prison by a British court in 2001 for sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in his home country.
Bower has remained free in Cambodia since 2007, working as an English teacher for the Cambodian Air Traffic Service.
Dun Vibol, Bower’s defence lawyer, said that his client did not accept the verdict and had lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal yesterday.
“I think that the court’s punishment was appropriate for my client and it could be accepted, but his monetary fines are very high,” Vibol told the Post outside the courthouse yesterday.
Peng Maneth, APLE’s lawyer for the five victims, said the compensation ordered was just and applauded the court’s call for deportation, calling Bower a “dangerous man for children”.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org