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Canadian gets 1-year sentence

A CANADIAN national has been sentenced to one year in prison and fined 2 million riels for committing indecent acts against his two underage stepdaughters, court officials said Thursday.

The man, aged 68, has been detained since January when he was arrested at a bus station in Sihanoukville.

Speaking from Preah Sihanouk provincial court, Judge Kim Eng confirmed the sentence and said the fine was bound not for the victims, ages 10 and 12, but for state coffers.

“We convicted him to one year for indecent acts against two underage girls and fined him 2 million riels without ordering him to pay any compensation for the victims,” he said.

Samleang Seila, country director of Action Pours Les Enfant (APLE), said the case had proved complicated because the defendant was married to the victims’ mother. When the original complaint was filed, the girls’ mother did not ask for compensation “because she had a smooth relationship with the offender as his wife”, Samleang Seila said. The two girls are currently in the care of a local NGO.

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