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Russian paedophile sentenced to 8 years in second sex trial

Alexander Trofimov, whose first jail term was slashed by nearly half,

is convicted for soliciting sex with an underage girl in Sihanoukville

SIHANOUKVILLE Municipal Court handed down a second child-sex conviction to Russian businessman Alexander Trofimov on Thursday for soliciting sex with an underage girl, sentencing him to an additional eight years in jail.

The 41-year-old former chairman of Koh Puos Investment Group, who is already serving six years for sexual assault in Cambodia's largest-ever paedophilia case, appeared in court for sentencing after missing the first two days of his trial, said his lawyer, Saing Vannak.

He added that he was unsure whether Trofimov would appeal the ruling.

"I will talk to my client about whether to appeal," he told the Post after the sentence was handed down. "My client was absent during the trial so the decision is unfair."

Trofimov was convicted on one of two counts of purchasing sex from a minor, brought by a single victim.

The second count involving 17 victims is still under investigation, with a verdict expected later, said Teng Maneth, a legal officer at the anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour les Enfants.

This week's trial was the third attempt to get Trofimov into court after a lack of lawyer delayed earlier trials.

Two Cambodian women, Tit Srey Mom and So Sina, were also given to eight-year prison terms on Thursday in connection with the case.

Trofimov was arrested in 2007 and first stood trial in March of this year on charges of abusing a 13-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to 13 years, but his prison term was slashed to seven years by the Appeals Court in October.

Bith Kimhong, director of the Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department at the Ministry of Interior, said that from January to November of this year, seven foreigners were arrested for having sexual relations with children.

After years of being seen as a haven for sexual predators, Cambodia in 2003 began a campaign to clean up the Kingdom's image by arresting paedophiles and other sex offenders, arresting dozens of foreigners.

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