Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - International school VP charged for alleged sex assault

International school VP charged for alleged sex assault

British national Mark Smith, 39, was arrested on Sunday over allegations that he molested a 5-year-old girl.
British national Mark Smith, 39, was arrested on Sunday over allegations that he molested a 5-year-old girl. Photo supplied

International school VP charged for alleged sex assault

A British national and deputy head of an international school in Phnom Penh has been charged with indecent assault following highly publicised claims he abused a 5-year-old student.

Mark Andrew Smith, 39, the vice principal of Golden Bridge International School of Phnom Penh, faces up to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines after charges were laid yesterday by Phnom Penh Municipal Court Prosecutor Seang Sok.

The charge comes after a week of reports about his arrest in the wake of accusations first made public on Facebook in unorthodox fashion by a self-styled media personality known as Viriya MC, who was not personally involved in the case.

But Pol Pithey, head of the Interior Ministry’s Anti-Human Trafficking Department, said that the police had investigated beyond Viriya’s remarks.

After questioning the suspect and the victim – with the assistance of experts trained in gathering child testimony – and obtaining a medical report, Pithey said police had enough evidence to pursue the case.

“The child victim clearly elaborated; the most important [point] is the victim stated that she was really sexually violated,” he said.

“Although the family did not file a complaint, it is a child rights violation and abuse,” he said, adding the family was worried about stigma.

He said authorities would be working with British police and investigating any other potential cases at the school.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • Woman who scaled Cambodia’s three highest peaks eyes Everest

    One of the very few Cambodian women to have successfully reached the Kingdom’s three highest peaks is now eyeing Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, and potentially even the world’s tallest straddling Nepal and China, Mount Everest. While in many Western countries it

  • Cheap, clean and efficient: The firm leading Cambodia’s solar revolution

    Sitting in her bright and airy 17th floor office, Rithya Menon, Okra Smart Solar’s lead firmware engineer, checks the frequently updating data telling her everything about how well their community services are operating. “I saw in the data that there was a problem with

  • PM Hun Sen: Cambodia will not die without EBA scheme

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday reiterated that he would not be overly concerned if Cambodia had its access to the EU’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) scheme withdrawn because the Kingdom would not die without it. Hun Sen was speaking to factory workers in