Siem Reap province
Siem Reap provincial court yesterday sentenced 65-year-old Danish national Svend Erick Jonasson to eight years in prison after he was found guilty of one count of procuring prostitution during his tenure running the Seven Inn guesthouse between 2008 to 2010.
Jonasson was sentenced alongside his former partner, Phon Thea, an employee at Seven Inn, who was convicted on a lesser charge of conspiring to procure prostitution and faces five years behind bars.
During the verdict, Judge Ly Sokleng referenced testimony from three of Jonasson’s former male employees who alleged he coerced them into performing sex acts on customers during their time at the guesthouse.
“After a long investigation and after hearing the testimony of the victims, the police and the suspects, we have decided that Jonasson is at fault and is guilty,” he said.
In addition to the jail sentence, Jonasson and Phnon were fined a total of 16 million riel (around US$4,000), with around one third going to each of the victims.
“He started to teach and guide me in how to perform oral sex on other guys,” said one male victim during earlier testimony.
Jonasson was arrested in Siem Reap in August 2010 by the Anti Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Police who suspected he was about to flee to Thailand. Prior to his arrest Jonasson had operated the Seven Inn guesthouse since moving to Siem Reap in 2008.
Following the verdict, Jonasson’s lawyer, Ly Veng Chheng, said he intends the appeal the judgment.