PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a well-known fortune-teller with paying for sex with 10 underage girls, officials said.
Lim Chanthorn, 58, a soothsayer who customers paid to read their fortunes to them by phone, was arrested on Thursday from his house in Russey Keo district. He is accused of purchasing sex from at least 10 girls aged between 13 and 14, who claim he paid between 5,000 riels (US$1.18) and 10,000 riels for each act.
Keo Thea, director of the municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau, said yesterday that the court had charged the accused with indecent acts and purchasing child prostitution. If found guilty, he faces sentences of one to three years for each indecent acts charge, and seven to 15 years for each child-prostitution charge.
“We believe the accused sexually abused more than 10 underage girls, and our investigation is now pending as we find more victims,” he said.
He added that Lim Chanthorn had denied the charges, but admitted giving each girl 5,000 or 10,000 riels.
Samleang Seila, director of child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said his organisation tipped off police about the fortune-teller, and would provide lawyers for the victims.