THE Appeal Court yesterday heard for the second time the case of a 40-year-old German man convicted of having sex with four boys in 2006, after the Supreme Court sent it back in April.
Alexander Moritz Watrin was arrested in April 2006 in Sihanoukville and charged with debauchery, a category of crime that no longer exists, after four boys aged between 12 and 15 said they had engaged in sex with him. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a total of US$5,000 in compensation to the victims.
In February 2009, the Appeal Court upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence by three years, citing a change in child-abuse laws.
At the hearing yesterday, Moritz repeated claims that he did not engage in sexual intercourse with the victims.
“The four boys were standing near my door asking for food, so I kindly helped and allowed them to stay in my living room,” he said. “I gave them noodles to eat, but I did not conduct any sexual relationships.”
But Nuon Phanith, a lawyer for the victims provided by child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), rebutted the testimony, and said Moritz had “never acknowledged his crime”.
“Based on victim’s testimonies, at all levels of investigations, he lured them from a service station to his rental house and gave them between $5 and $10,” he said.
Judge Seng Sivutha said a verdict is expected July 20.
Also Monday, the Appeal Court denied bail to a 57-year-old American man, Alan Arthur Perry, charged with soliciting child prostitution from four teenage boys and possessing child pornography. Perry was arrested in Sihanoukville on April 30.