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Tourist tried on child sex charges

German national Hans Gandner, 69, accused of soliciting sex from two male minors, enters Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.
German national Hans Gandner, 69, accused of soliciting sex from two male minors, enters Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. PHA LINA

Tourist tried on child sex charges

A German tourist admitted in court yesterday that he paid two boys for a sexual act, but told a Phnom Penh judge that the victims exaggerated his crime.

Phnom Penh Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection police arrested Hans Gandner, 69, on April 23, after they stopped a taxi driving him to the airport.

They arrested him on allegations that he paid two 13-year-old boys he met on Phnom Penh’s riverside in Daun Penh district to allow Hans to perform digital and oral sex on them, said Sin Visal, a presiding judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“He paid two Cambodian boys $7 each” to touch their genitalia and perform oral sex, Visal said.

Standing accused of indecent acts against a minor less than 15 years and paying a minor for sex, Hans explained to the court that he had drank 12 beers during his encounters with the boys on April 12
and 13.

Hans said the boys had begged him for money and he touched their penises, but he did not perform oral sex on them.

“I have never committed this act in other countries; this was my first time, here in Cambodia,” Hans said yesterday, before pleading for leniency.

“I would like to ask the court to reduce my punishment so that I will able to return to my country,” he told the court yesterday.

But both boys testified in court that Hans had indeed committed all the acts for which he was charged.

In addition to criminal charges, the victims’ parents are seeking a total of 17 million riel ($4,250).

Vice-prosecutor Phieu Phalla asked the court to maintain the charges against Gandner.

Presiding judge Visal said that Hans’ verdict will be handed down on September 26.

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