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Frenchmen accused in paedophilia cases

Frenchmen accused in paedophilia cases

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Claude Demeret (left) and Michel Charlot (second from right) Friday at the municipal Anti-Trafficking Police department.

One of the two stayed in Cambodia three years, recording his deviant sexual exploits, police say.

TWO French nationals were charged in paedophilia cases on Sunday in Phnom Penh Municipal Court with soliciting child prostitution and possessing child pornography.

Sixty-three-year-old Michel Jean Raymond Charlot was charged under Article 34 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation with soliciting child prostitution, and another Frenchman, 60-year-old Claude Jean-Pierre Demeret, was charged under Article 34 and Article 39 with soliciting child prostitution and possession of child pornography, Phnom Penh Municipal court deputy prosecutor Kry Sok Y said Sunday. The two were to begin serving pretrial detention today.

Charlot was arrested on Thursday at a guesthouse in the Boeung Kak area after he solicited a 16-year-old girl near Wat Phnom and brought her back to his room, according to Municipal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau police chief Keo Thea. The girl then implicated Demeret, who was arrested at a guesthouse in Chamkarmon distict.

Samleang Seila, Cambodian director for Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), a child rights group, said Sunday that his organisation tipped off police to suspicion surrounding Charlot, who had been in Cambodia just one week.

"We warmly welcome the fast intervention by police in this case," Samleang Seila said.

After Charlot's arrest, police said, they raided Demeret's guesthouse and confiscated a cache of sex toys and child pornography. Demeret had created dozens of pornographic videos and photos of his deeds, police said, all of which were seized as evidence. Samleang Seila said that Demeret had been living in Cambodia for three years, during which he filmed himself committing a variety of immoral acts.

"Both men claimed at the police station that they filmed and photographed themselves for their own entertainment and not to sell for a profit, but that doesn't make them any less guilty," Samleang Seila said. "We would like to let sex tourists know that Cambodia is not a place where they can commit acts of paedophilia without facing the consequences."

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