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

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said