Two foreigners convicted of child abuses remain free after their guilty verdicts were handed down late last week, court authorities confirmed yesterday.
Roy Sheppard, 77, from the United Kingdom, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday for molesting four victims, according to Siem Reap Provincial Court Judge Nguon Nara.
But Sheppard remains at large; he was bailed from pre-trial detention by the investigating judge at the beginning of the case and has 45 days to appeal the verdict before the court will authorise his arrest.
The guilty verdict came a day after Indian national Raj Deo, 42, was handed a 14-month sentence for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Deo too remains free and has 26 days left to appeal.
Vando Khoem, program director at child protection organisation Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), said the cases were “really concerning”.
“We can see these people might continue to prey on children,” he said. “If they have reason to release the suspects on bail, they should also balance the safety of the children and the damage that could happen to the child.”