Giuseppe Nicolosi, an Australian national convicted of raping a 5-year-old girl, died from a chronic disease on Sunday while serving an eight-year sentence in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison.
Sorn Keo, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s Department of Prisons, said the prisoner developed a rash from the disease and was transferred to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital on December 1.
“Having seen his picture, it was scary,” Keo said. Nicolosi had served more than five years in Prey Sar, he added.
Nicolosi was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 5-year-old in Siem Reap province’s Sala Kamroeuk commune in 2010 and sentenced the following year.
The victim retracted her complaint in 2012 following the Siem Reap Provincial Court trial. Nicolosi appealed, claiming he was a victim of a false accusation and police corruption, but the Appeal Court upheld the eight-year sentence.
The body will remain at the hospital while the Australian Embassy informs Nicolosi’s family. The embassy could not be reached for comment.