PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced a previously convicted French paedophile to one year in prison with a six-month probationary period, after finding him guilty of indecent acts against three underage boys in Phnom Penh, according to a verdict read out by presiding judge Kor Vandy.
Jean-Marie Beranger, 61, was arrested in Phnom Penh in June after staff from NGO Action Pour Les Enfants told police that he had been soliciting underage boys in Sihanoukville, and victims’ testimonies alleged he had done the same in Phnom Penh.
Previously, he was arrested in Sihanoukville in September 2009 on the same charge, which was dropped in August due to a lack of evidence.
On June 28 this year, Kampot provincial court sentenced him to one year jail in a third indecent acts case, following acts committed while he was out on bail in the Sihanoukville case. Beranger is now serving the prison term in Kampot and was not present for yesterday’s court hearing.
“We are not happy with the city court’s conviction against the offender with only a minimum sentence,” said Nuon Phanith, a lawyer provided to the victims by APLE. “He should have served a double sentence over the indecent acts charges [as a repeat offender].”