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Child porn producer jailed

Child porn producer jailed

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Mathias Cassar leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court following a hearing last week.

I am disappointed that the French man’s verdict did not reach our expectations

A French national and his Cambodian girlfriend were sentenced yesterday to six years in prison each for producing child pornography and ordered to pay their eight victims a total of 40 million riels (US$9,800).

Mathias Cassar, a 35-year-old photographer and designer, was found guilty of producing child pornography while his girlfriend Duong Savy, 25, was judged to be an accomplice.  

Presiding judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court Din Sivuthy said yesterday that their arrest following complaints from the families of eight children aged between eight and 12 years old.

At his trial last week, the Frenchman confessed to producing child pornography on three occasions in early 2011. He said he had committed the crime to earn money to help buy medicine for his girlfriend who has HIV/AIDS.

“The court has found that Mathias Cassar and Duong Savy are guilty,” said the judge yesterday, adding that Cassar would be deported from Cambodia upon his release and that each victim would received five million riels from the couple.

Nuon Phanith, a lawyer for the eight victims who was provided by the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said he was not pleased with the verdict, as the victims were requesting combined compensation of $55,000 and prison sentences of 10 to 20 years.  

“I am disappointed that the French man’s verdict did not reach our expectations. I think that his sentence is small for him and does not fit the crime that had been committed against the victims,” he said.

“However, I am happy that the court has ordered to expel this foreign man from Cambodia when he has served his jail term. He cannot not take revenge on the victims or their families or commit his activities again.”

Cassar and Duong Savy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Dun Vibol, the lawyer for the convicted couple, said that the verdict was acceptable given their admittance of guilt in the trial.

“On the other hand, there was no evidence to prove that he had sold the pornographic images to internet buyers,” he said yesterday, adding that his clients would not appeal the verdict.

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