Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Appeal Court upholds underage sex verdict




Appeal Court upholds underage sex verdict

Appeal Court upholds underage sex verdict

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the 2006 conviction of 38-year-old German national Alexander Moritz Watrin for having sex with four underage boys in Preah Sihanouk province.

Watrin was arrested in Sihanoukville in April 2006 and charged with debauchery, a category of crime that no longer exists, after four boys aged between 12 and 15 said they had sex with him.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay US$5,000 in compensation, but his sentence was reduced to seven years by the Appeal Court in 2009 after passage of the Law on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.

Watrin appealed the conviction to Cambodia’s Supreme Court in May 2010, which ordered the case reinvestigated.

“We reheard the case after the Supreme Court ordered further investigations ... but we had enough evidence to find him guilty based on victims’ testimonies,” presiding Judge Seng Sivutha said yesterday.

However, the verdict reduced the amount of compensation owed to the victims to 10 million riels ($2,457).

Watrin maintained his innocence during yesterday’s hearing and blamed the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants for coaching the four boys and paying them money to testify against him.

Watrin’s defence lawyer, Pich Soyra, told reporters that the court’s ruling should not have been based solely on victims’ testimony but should have included medical examinations of the alleged victims, adding that he would consult with his client about further appeals.

APLE lawyer Nuon Phanith said he did not oppose the Appeal Court verdict but questioned why the court lowered the amount of compensation owed to the victims.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and