PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A man from the Netherlands was formally charged in a Cambodian court for taking nude photos of boys and possessing at least 1,300 pornographic pictures.
Evrard Nicolas Sarot, 53, has been detained on child pornography charges, Siem Reap provincial court spokesman Yim Srang said Friday. Production of child pornography is punishable by 5-10 years in prison, while the sentence for its sale or distribution is 10-20 years.
The court's action came after Sarot was arrested Tuesday in the northwestern province, home to the famous Angkor Wat temples, while photographing naked boys aged 11-15 years whom he had allegedly paid to strike erotic poses.
Police began investigating Sarot on the basis of information supplied by Action Pour Les Enfants, a non-governmental organization that combats child sex abuse. The group said that about 20 boys, all of them under 15 years of age, were paid a few dollars each to come to a deserted area to be photographed.
The group said it had been tipped off last year by an informant.
"This arrest marks the third foreign man arrested in child abuse cases in Cambodia this year," the group said in a statement, noting that the victims were all boys, a warning that predators don't target only girls.
Last week a prosecutor in southern Takeo province charged a Cambodian-American man with sexually abusing 11 boys aged 10 -15 years.
Poverty and poor law enforcement have made Cambodia a magnet for foreign pedophiles, but the government has cracked down on sex offenders in the past decade.