Cambodia: Police caught a German man in bed with a 14-year-old girl
in the Cambodian capital and arrested him on debauchery charges, police said
Police raided the suspect's Phnom Penh hotel room Thursday and discovered him
with the teenage girl, said Keo Thea, deputy chief of a unit that investigates
Keo Thea said the suspect would face formal charges in a court, but he did
not specify the charges.
However, a police officer who asked not to be named because he was not
authorized to speak to the media, said the suspect, 61, came from Cologne,
Germany and was arrested for debauchery ― a legal charge used for the sexual
abuse of children under the age of 16 ― which is punishable by up to 20 years in
He said police officers burst into the German's hotel room and found him,
dressed only in his underwear, lying asleep on the bed with the fully clothed
The girl later told police that she and the man had sex several times before
the raid. It was not immediately clear if she also faced any charges.
A French child rights group said it had kept the suspect under surveillance
for some time. Investigators for Action Pour Les Enfants saw the man spending
time with two teenage girls, including the one whom he was with during the
arrest, said Samleang Seila, the group's director in Cambodia.
The detention of the German is the latest in a string of arrests of
Westerners suspected of child sex offenses in Cambodia.
Poverty and lack of education in countries like Cambodia make it easy for
pedophiles to operate, said Christian Guth, an official of the U.N. children's
agency UNICEF, who works as an adviser to Cambodia's Interior Ministry on human
"Cambodia is still very weak. Money is very important here, and with money
you can do whatever you want," he said, referring to the method often used by
pedophiles to lure children.
In March, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced two German men to a total
of 40 years in prison for sexually abusing ethnic Vietnamese girls aged 10 to 14
Then in April, the same court charged Walter Muze, a 62-year-old German from
Stuttgart, with debauchery for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old Cambodian
girl. Last month, a Russian businessman was arrested and charged with debauchery
for allegedly having sex with six girls in Cambodia. Both are in detention