Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Orphan sex-abuse probe completed

Orphan sex-abuse probe completed

Orphan sex-abuse probe completed

The judge investigating sexual abuse allegations against a city orphanage director

has completed the examination and passed the file to the court prosecutor. The investigating

judge, who did not want to be named, said the case against Path Non, the former head

of the Cambodian Light Children Association (CLCA), went to the Municipal Court on

February 25.

Prosecutor Sok Roeun will examine the evidence and then decide whether to recommend

that Path Non be charged with a criminal offense. If so, the case must go to trial

by May 25, which marks six months since Non's arrest.

In a related development, the Ministry of Interior sent a letter on February 21 to

CLCA's former acting president, Billy Barnaart, granting him permission to open a

new orphanage to care for some of the CLCA children.

Barnaart told the Post that he would work as an advisor to the director of the newly-named

Jeannine's Children Association, named after Barnaart's late wife. JCA was set up

after an investigation by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, Vocational Training

and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSALVY) following allegations that Path Non had sexually

abused an 11-year-old girl at CLCA.

The MoSALVY investigation, which finished in mid-December, found that CLCA had poor

sanitation, and the children were at risk of fire as the orphanage is located in

the Bassac slum which has predominantly wooden housing. It also found they could

be exploited, given that CLCA raises funds through public dance performances by the

children.

MoSALVY Minister Ith Samheng then requested that Barnaart establish a new association

to care for the CLCA children. Barnaart said he expected JCA would soon sign a Memorandum

of Understanding with the ministry.

JCA is currently looking after 30 children in a villa in Tuol Kork. Most are from

CLCA, which is still looking after 40 children. Barnaart said the new orphanage would

continue the classical Khmer dance program that the children were learning at CLCA.

He added that CLCA's donors had transferred their funding to JCA, and he had installed

a proper system of accountability to ensure donor confidence in the new orphanage's

finances. Among the early funders are the Australian Business Association of Cambodia,

and a local language school.

"It was my promise to the children that I would provide them with an opportunity

to develop themselves," said Barnaart. "When I started with CLCA I promised

the children I would create a better service to improve their quality of life. They

are marvelous kids."

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided

  • Covid rattles Phnom Penh’s retail landscape through H1

    The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the retail landscape in Phnom Penh, with anxiety around infection risk keeping the masses away from shopping malls and driving retail consumption down by nearly five per cent in the first half of this year, compared to July-December 2020, according to