The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sentenced French national Jacques Philippe Albertini to seven years in prison for sexually abusing three 12-year-old boys in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to the prison time, Judge Heng Sok Na ordered Albertini, 71, to pay five million riel (about $1,250) to each of the three victims after finding him guilty on charges of soliciting child prostitution.
“He has the right to appeal it to the Court of Appeal within legal procedures if he does not accept this court’s decision,” Sok Na added.
According to Sok Na, Albertini had been implicated in numerous child abuse cases before his May 2012 arrest in Phnom Penh based on a complaint from a victim’s parent. The other cases, he said, took place in France in 1979; in Thailand in 1980, 1981 and 1999; and in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk province in 2004, and Phnom Penh in 2008.
Albertini declined to respond to questions from reporters yesterday, and his defence lawyer could not be reached for comment. During his trial earlier this month, Albertini maintained his innocence, saying it would have been impossible for him to commit the crimes.
“I have been impotent for over 20 years. I also have diabetes. I could not commit such sexual activities as accused,” he said at the time. “I would like to ask the court to drop charges against me and release me.”
However, one of his victims, now 13, testified that Albertini paid him $10 on two occasions to come to his home and engage in sexual intercourse.