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Indecent image leads to charge

Former English teacher Frederic Gonzales leaves Phnom Penh’s municipal court
Former English teacher Frederic Gonzales leaves Phnom Penh’s municipal court. PHA LINA

Indecent image leads to charge

The trial of a 34-year-old French national accused of distributing pornographic images of a bar girl and threatening to post them online last year began yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Frederic Gonzales was employed as a private English teacher in the capital when he was arrested by officers from the Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit on October 23 for allegedly distributing images of a 20-year-old Vietnamese national working at the Martini Pub in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang II commune.

Suos Sam Ath, a judge at the court, said Gonzales was facing two charges: threatening the girl and distributing pornographic images.

“He had sex with the victim many times and threatened to post the pictures online if she didn’t continue to have sex with him as he wanted,” Suos said.

The woman told the court yesterday that Gonzales photographed her in her rental house in Meanchey district’s Chbar Ampov II commune and distributed the images in front of her home. Along with threats to post the images online, “he also forced me to smoke drugs with him”, she told the court, requesting the accused be fined $2,000. Frederic denied all accusations leveled against him but did confess to taking the pornographic images, claiming they were for himself rather than public distribution.

“She was my girlfriend, and we both had been in love with each other many months ago. I did not force her to have sex with me,” he said, adding he wanted the images for himself when he was older, and asking that the court drop all charges.

A verdict is expected on September 12.

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