PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A Cambodian court has sentenced an American man to two and a half years in prison on charges of sexually abusing three underage girls.
The provincial court in Siem Reap, site of the famed Angkor Wat temples, said Rugh James Cline was convicted Thursday of indecent acts against minors for paying three girls for sex during visits in February and May this year.
An NGO that investigates suspected foreign pedophiles in Cambodia, Action Pour Les Enfants, said the victims told police that he paid them a total of $120.
The court ordered Cline, who pleaded not guilty, to pay 15 million riels ($3,750) in compensation to each of the girls.
“I welcome the verdict, however the crime of purchase of child prostitution should have been charged as the offender took advantage of the victims, coercing them with money,” APLE’s executive director, Seila Samleang, said in a statement. “This would’ve represented a longer jail sentence.”
The Associated Press/City News