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US national accused of sexual assault of underage girl

US national accused of sexual assault of underage girl

The 50-year-old man, who carried on a one-year relationship with the 13-year-old victim, could face up to 10 years in prison 

AN American man accused of sexually

assaulting an underage Cambodian girl is due to go to Phnom Penh

Municipal Court today, according to an official at the Interior

Ministry.

Bith Kimhong, director of the ministry's Anti-human Trafficking and

Juvenile Protection Department, said police arrested the 50-year-old

man, who was not named by police, on Tuesday at his rented house in

Boeung Salang commune.

"An American man is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old

girl, but he has not confessed to the crime and has not yet requested a

lawyer," Bith Kimhong told the Post Wednesday.

"He entered Cambodia in 2007 and met the victim through her sister a year ago," he said.

Samleang

Seila, a director for the French NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE),

said his organisation was aware of the American's relationship with the

girl prior to his arrest.

"The man had several sexual encounters with the girl," Samleang

Seila said, citing conversations he had with the victim, who he said

was a junior high school student in Phnom Penh."

Bith Kimhong said the government would not tolerate sexual harassment by foreign nationals.

Cambodian

law states that anyone convicted of having sex with a child under the

age of 15, even if it is consensual, faces five to 10 years in prison.

Bith Kimhong said seven foreign nationals have been arrested for paedophilia in Cambodia so far this year.

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