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Sex charges dropped

Convicted pedophile Sebastian Reuiji (left) in Siem Reap province late last year
Convicted pedophile Sebastian Reuiji (left) in Siem Reap province late last year. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Sex charges dropped

A convicted pedophile charged by Siem Reap Provincial Court in December with sexually abusing two minors, aged six and nine, was released from prison last week, a senior provincial anti-human trafficking officer said yesterday.

Lieutenant Colonel Chea Heng, deputy chief of Siem Reap’s provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection unit, said that 40-year-old Dutch national Sebastian Reuiji, who was charged with “indecent acts against a minor under 15 years” on December 19, was released on Thursday.

“He was released because the investigating judge has dropped the charges against him because of a lack of evidence,” he told the Post yesterday.

However, the victims’ defence lawyer, Chea Nara, claimed there was enough evidence to convict Reuiji.

“I think that the investigating judge’s decision was not right, because there was enough evidence … but the investigating judge did not properly consider it,” he said.

Investigating judge Duch Sok Sarin could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In October 2011, Reuiji was convicted by Siem Reap Provincial Court with committing indecent acts against five children aged between seven and 13 and sentenced to three months in prison.

Yi Moden, deputy director of field operations at Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) Cambodia, said that APLE does not accept the ruling.

“How can it be this man can continue walking freely in Cambodia? He is a convicted child sex offender and [has had] allegations of child sexual abuses surrounding him for many years,” he said. “I am very worried about the safety of the victims now that the suspect has been released. I fear that another child might become his victim.”

Reuiji and his lawyer could not be reached yesterday.

Separately, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the seven-year imprisonment of US national Jason Todd Baumbach, who was convicted of purchasing sex from a 13-year-old girl in Phnom Penh in 2008.

Khem Pon, vice president and presiding judge of the Supreme Court, read the verdict yesterday and said the court ordered his deportation once his sentence was completed.

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