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Paedophilia case draws APLE criticism

Paedophilia case draws APLE criticism

THE head of the child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants on Wednesday criticised court officials investigating a suspected American paedophile, saying he was concerned that the suspect and his four alleged victims had been attending the same questioning sessions.

Alan Arthur Perry, 57, has been held in pretrial detention since April 30 on charges of possessing child pornography and purchasing child prostitution from four boys.

The court’s investigation has involved closed meetings presided over by judge Kim Eng and attended by the four boys, their legal representatives from APLE, Perry and his legal team, said Ben Hutchins, who identified himself as a spokesman for the legal team.

APLE country director Samleang Seila said Wednesday that he had never before encountered an investigation in which both the suspect and the victims had been questioned face-to-face in the same room, and expressed concern that the process could “impact the boys’ emotions, cause stress and make the boys too scared to prove the man’s guilt”.

He added, though, that the boys had continued to testify against Perry, and Hutchins said Perry “has again denied the allegations made against him”.

“At this stage, we see no credible material that supports the allegations so far,” Hutchins said. Perry had “cooperated fully with the investigating police, investigating judge and the prosecutor’s office”, he said.

Kim Eng said the face-to-face questioning was necessary “to find the truth about the sex allegations”. He also said that no trial date had been set in the case.

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