Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Expat admits to child porn pictures

Expat admits to child porn pictures

Expat admits to child porn pictures

expat

Photo by: Pha Lina
Mathias Cassar leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

A French national admitted producing child pornography at his trial in Phnom Penh yesterday, saying that he had needed to earn money to help buy medicine for his sick girlfriend. 

Mathias Cassar, a 35-year-old photographer and designer, was charged with producing child pornography on March 9, while his girlfriend, Duong Savy, 25, was charged with being an accomplice. 

Presiding judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court Din Sivuthy said they were arrested by police at their rented house in the Russey village of Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune following complaints from the families of eight children aged between eight and 12 years old. 

“Mathias Cassar was arrested, along with his girlfriend, while he was taking pornographic photographs of three under-age girls inside his room. He was the mastermind of this child pornography,” he said, adding that police had confiscated two computers, 11 cameras and a collection of pornographic photos and videos of children from his home. 

Yeth Khemara, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Cassar had entered Cambodia as a tourist in 2007.“His Cambodian girlfriend had also been involved with his activities because she assisted him in finding or lobbying the young girls for taking the pictures in exchange for US$3 to $10 per series of photos,” he claimed.  

Cassar confessed to the court that he had produced child pornography, but said he had only done so on three occasions in early 2011. He added that he had committed the crime to earn money to help his girlfriend who has HIV/AIDS. 

“I decided to take child pornography photos three times in 2011 because I had no money and I needed it to treat my girlfriend’s sickness,” he said. “She has HIV/AIDS and she needed the money to buy medicines.  I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence.” 

Cassar’s girlfriend, Doung Savy, said in court yesterday: “I know about my mistakes now and my [boyfriend] did this activity because he wanted to help me. I would like to ask the court to reduce our sentences. We promise that we will not commit it again when we are freed in the future.”

 Nuon Pheanith, a lawyer for the eight victims, said the eight victims were requesting combined compensation of US$55,000 in addition to the deportation of the suspect after his prison time had been served, if he is found guilty next week. Din Sivuthy said their verdicts would be announced on June 21.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to