Battambang Provincial Court sentenced a 66-year old American man to three years in prison for the indecent assault of his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter, a court official said on Wednesday.
Tieng Sambo, provincial court administrative director, said Judge Le Sokha also fined Robert Boehnlein five million riel, ($1,250). She added that Boehnlein will be deported to the US upon having served his sentence.
She said the judge changed the original charge of rape to “aggravating circumstance of indecent assault”.
“The judge changed the charge based on the investigation. The three-year jail term for sexual assault is lighter than it would have been for rape,” she said.
Khoem Vando, a child protection specialist at Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), said he was unaware of the reasons behind the judge changing the charge.
According to APLE, Boehnlein had applied to teach at an international English language school in Battambang. But an internet search showed his previous involvement in sexual offences.
Boehnlein was previously convicted of sodomy and indecent acts with a child in Texas in 2002. Court records said he had sexually abused his daughter for years. He was released from prison in 2011.
At the time of his arrest in Battambang, Boehnlein was wanted in the US for moving without notifying authorities.