Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - American convicted of raping boy, 10, in Siem Reap




American convicted of raping boy, 10, in Siem Reap

In a video from 2015, John Zollbrecht speaks to a Seattle church about his charity work in Cambodia. Photo supplied
In a video from 2015, John Zollbrecht speaks to a Seattle church about his charity work in Cambodia. Photo supplied

American convicted of raping boy, 10, in Siem Reap

A 79-year-old American man was sentenced to one year in prison for raping a 10-year-old boy by Siem Reap Provincial Court on Wednesday.

John Paul Zollbrecht, of Washington state, was sentenced to one year in prison while a Cambodian man who helped facilitate the abuse, 23-year-old Nheb Sophorn, was sentenced to one and a half years. Both were found guilty of sexual intercourse with a minor under 15 years of age.

Vando Khoem, of the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said he did not know why their sentences were unusually short, pointing out that the charge carries a minimum sentence of five years. The victim’s family plans to appeal the sentencing, according to Khoem.

He also expressed disappointment that the judge did not order Zollbrecht’s deportation.

“Deportation is a preventive measure,” Khoem said. “We want deportation to be mandatory because it will prevent re-offending in Cambodia.”

Siem Reap Provincial Court administrative chief Yin Sreang said he did not have any information on the case.

Zollbrecht, who ran a community education program in Sror Nge commune, was arrested last February after APLE tipped off authorities about his suspicious behaviour.

Americans who sexually abuse children overseas can be prosecuted in the US. American missionary Daniel Stephen Johnson, who was deported in 2014 after serving his sentence for sexually abusing five boys in Cambodia, is now being tried in US federal court.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,