Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sex offender may be free soon after trial

Sex offender may be free soon after trial

Sex offender may be free soon after trial

A 44-YEAR-OLD American man convicted of committing indecent acts against two underage sisters over a period of several years might serve fewer than 10 more days of his seven-month sentence due to the length of his pre-trial detention, Phnom Penh Municipal Court ruled on Friday.
Judge Seng Neang said that though he may have technically sentenced Scott Alan Hecker to two years in prison, the defendant was only required to spend seven months behind bars before finishing out his sentence on probation.

Those seven months, in turn, would be measured “from the time of [Hecker’s] arrest on July 23, 2009”, nearly cancelling out the prison term entirely. The judge also ordered Hecker to pay 4 million riels (around US$963) as a fine.

Peng Maneth, a lawyer provided for the plaintiffs by anti-paedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), condemned the sentence as far too lenient.

“We intend to bring this case before the general prosecutor of the Appeal Court, and will seek high-level means of expelling the man from Cambodia for fear that he might resume sexual abuse against other girls,” Peng Maneth said.

Meanwhile, the lawyers for the defence insisted that the lack of proof outside the uncertain testimony of his victims meant that Hecker should have been acquitted outright.

Scott Alan Hecker was arrested in the capital’s Daun Penh district after he was found with two underage sisters, who claimed to have been in some form of relationship with the man since meeting him in Preah Sihanouk province in 2006.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release