A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge sentenced a German national to two years’ prison yesterday, after the man was convicted of paying for sex with a child.
Dieter Becker, a 62-year-old businessman, will serve one year of his sentence in prison and pay four million riel ($1,000) to the family of the 14-year-old victim he claimed was his adopted daughter, judge Chaing Sinath said.
The conviction falls short of the original charges when Becker was tried last week, which included human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Officers with the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit arrested Becker on May 2 in a Daun Penh district guesthouse after the victim’s parents filed a complaint when their daughter went missing.
When arrested, Becker told police the girl was his adopted daughter, but her lawyer, Sek Savoeun, said Becker purchased the victim from a trafficker and raped her, causing serious injury to the genitals.
Despite denials from the victim, her attorney and her parents, Mon Vimean Champa, Becker’s attorney, yesterday held that he had, in fact, adopted the girl and never had sexual intercourse with her.
“I think the court’s decision was unjust for my client, because he did not have sex with the victim, who was his adopted daughter,” Vimean Champa told the Post outside the courtroom.
After his conviction, Becker declared his innocence, but was undecided on whether he would appeal the verdict.
“I do not understand this [verdict] or the accusation,” Becker said.
“I have not yet decided whether or not I will appeal the court’s decision.”
Savoeun, the girl’s attorney, could not be reached for comment after Becker was sentenced yesterday.