INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
The Associated Press
Published: October 10, 2008
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: A former Russian businessman convicted of sexually abusing a Cambodian girl had his prison term reduced but still faces another trial for similar offenses involving 18 other victims, officials said Friday.
An Appeals Court judge panel scaled down Alexander Trofimov's prison term to six years from 13 years previously handed down by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Appeals Court judge Samreth Sophal said Friday the reduction, which he issued during a closed-door session Thursday, was done in line with a new law against child sex crimes that was passed by lawmakers early this year.
Cambodia has long been a magnet for foreign pedophiles and the courts have stepped up action against sex offenders in recent years.
In March, the municipal court sentenced the Russian to 13 years in prison for an alleged sexual offense against a 14-year-old girl in the capital Phnom Penh.
Trofimov, previously convicted of debauchery, was re-sentenced on the charge of soliciting sex with a minor under the new law.
Trofimov's Cambodian lawyer, So Dara, said he will discuss whether to appeal the new prison sentence with his client.
Trofimov was arrested last October over allegations that he had abused as many as 19 girls since 2005. He has denied the accusations.
He is now facing another trial in Sihanoukville, a coastal city in Cambodia's southwest, for allegedly sexually abusing 18 other girls.
No date has been set for the new trial.