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In custody: American is arrested for beating man

In custody: American is arrested for beating man

Police in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday arrested a United States national after he allegedly beat a Cambodian citizen into a coma on Saturday night.

Tourist Jason Richard Barnett is currently in pretrial detention and will be questioned in court for the alleged beating today, said Nou Savuth, penalty office chief of Preah Sihanouk’s police department.

The motive for Barnett’s alleged beating of Neang Sarin, a 31-year-old employee at a guesthouse who remains unconscious at Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, is unclear, Savuth said.

However, James McCabe with the Child Protection Unit said Sarin was suspected of sexually assaulting the daughter of Barnett’s girlfriend.

Barnett’s girlfriend and her daughter were at the scene of the beating, Savuth said.

A US Embassy spokesman declined to comment on the case yesterday, citing privacy concerns.

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