Monday, November 28, 2011

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

American national Phillip Bruce Shepard, 68, was officially charged yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with purchasing child prostitution.

Shepard, a medical doctor at Princess Clinic in Phnom Penh, was arrested on Saturday by anti-human trafficking and juveline protection police at his home in Chamkarmon district’s Boueng Keng Kang III commune.

Director of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile police Keo Thea said Shepard was charged in connection to the sexual abuse of two brothers, 13 and 16-years-old.

“He was arrested based on the complaints of the two victims, who claim that they had been sexually abused by Shepard several times, as far back as 2008,” said Keo Thea. “According to our investigation, Mr. Shepard has had sexual relations with several Cambodian boys and young men during his time in the country.”

Shepard has been sent to Prey Sor prison where he will await his sentencing while police compile evidence and conduct an investigation covering his entire stint in Cambodia.

Country director for Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) Samleang Seila said Shepard reportedly entered Cambodia in 2002.

“I appreciate that he has been arrested, but I regret that this did happen sooner. Shepard came to APLE’s attention in 2007, when his neighbors reported suspicious activity, as he was often taking different boys into his home,” said Samleang Seila.

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