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Alleged victim backs out of sex abuse case

Accused pedophile Udo Sabiniewicz leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court following his hearing yesterday.
Accused pedophile Udo Sabiniewicz leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court following his hearing yesterday. Hong Menea

Alleged victim backs out of sex abuse case

A German national accused of molesting five children continued to maintain his innocence in court yesterday, as the family of one of his alleged victims announced they were dropping charges.

Udo Sabiniewicz, the 57-year-old head of FX Animation Studios, was arrested on June 16, 2015, following complaints from the parents of five boys, aged 7 to 13, police said at the time.

Two of the alleged victims’ families ultimately never stepped forward to press charges following the arrest.

The case was further winnowed down yesterday as Srey Leak, mother of an alleged victim, didn’t show up to court, instead sending court officials a statement claiming that police had instructed her child to incriminate the suspect.

One of the two remaining plaintiff’s mother’s, Taing Soravy, the suspect’s former cleaner, however, stuck to her guns.

“I knew that Udo abused my child when one day my child did not want to play with him. I asked him, why? He said ‘he [performed a sex act]’,” Soravy told the court.

Sabiniewicz at the time was paying several hundreds of dollars per month for her rent, electricity, water bills and son’s school.

The German claimed his troubles with Soravy began when he drove her and her son home one night. Before getting out of his car, Soravy said something to her son about the defendant’s iPad, Sabiniewicz said. When the iPad turned up missing, he believed the son had taken it per his mother’s instructions.

The suspect claimed that when he called Soravy the following day to demand the iPad back, she threatened him with arrest and prison if he “made trouble” for her.

“She said ‘if you report me . . . I will harm you’,” said Sabiniewicz. “What did she do? Threw me into prison.”

When asked why he brought up the stolen iPad only after his arrest for child molestation, Sabiniewicz claimed that he was looking for a lawyer to go after Soravy, which takes “three or four months”.

Long Samnang, mother of another alleged victim, said she’d met the suspect at a hairdressing shop, becoming “like boyfriend and girlfriend”.

He also helped her pay for rent and her son’s schooling. In a non-public session, Samnang’s son told the court yesterday that the suspect played with his penis 10 times.

Sabiniewicz did not address Samnang’s or her son’s testimony, but maintained his innocence of all charges against him and blasted the Cambodian justice system for violating his human rights.

“I hope my case will be a big warning to everyone in the world,” he cried. “For God’s sake, don’t come here.”

A verdict is due March 11.

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