Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US paedophile receives jail term for child abuse

US paedophile receives jail term for child abuse

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An American was arrested for sexual abuse on two girls in Siem Reap on 20 May, 2019. Supplied

US paedophile receives jail term for child abuse

A 38-year-old American was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Thursday on charges of committing indecent acts on minors under 15.

Rugh James Cline was also ordered to pay a two million riel ($500) fine and compensation of 15 million riel to each of his three victims, Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesman Yin Sreang told The Post on Sunday.

Child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (Aple Cambodia), which provided legal services to the victims, said in a press release that Cline was charged under the Law of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.

In May, the press release said, the provincial police’s Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau launched an investigation after receiving information about Cline’s possible abuse of street girls in Siem Reap town.

Police found that Cline had visited the province a couple of times, in February and May this year.

Citing the victims’ accounts, Aple said Cline lured them from Pub Street to his accommodation during his second visit and paid them around 480,000 riel to have sex with him.

On May 20, Aple said, four girls were rescued and sent to a rehabilitation centre temporarily for psychosocial support.

While welcoming the verdict, Aple said Cline deserved a lengthier jail term.

“The offender should have been charged with purchasing child prostitution as he took advantage of the victims, coercing them with money.

Aple’s executive director Seila Samleang called for Cline’s deportation.

“We believe deportation should have been considered after the offender completes his jail term as he may pose risk to other children in the future.

“Deportation of convicted foreign sex offenders should be made mandatory by law. This is a type of crime that can’t be tolerated,” he said in the press release.

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