PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court on Thursday sentenced a German man to seven years in prison for paying for sexual acts with minors.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Hans Gandner, 69, guilty of molesting two 13-year-old boys and paying them $5 to $10 each in return. In addition to the prison sentence, Gandner was ordered to pay a 4 million riel ($1,000) fine and a total of 5 million riel ($1,250) in compensation to the two boys. The court also ordered that Gandner be deported after he serves his sentence.
Poverty and poor law enforcement have made Cambodia a magnet for foreign pedophiles, but in recent years authorities have increasingly cracked down on sex offenders. Gandner, a Hamburg native, was arrested in April after he was witnessed molesting one boy, according to the child protection group Action Pour Les Enfants. Gandner then confessed to also abusing another boy, the group said. He admitted in court to having molested the boys and apologized for the harm he caused them, APLE said.
Gandner's lawyer, Chhoeung Sokha, said Thursday that he would consult with his client about whether to appeal the court's decision. APLE's deputy director of project management, Khoem Vando, said that the sentence "will help the boys with their rehabilitation efforts and it is another strong signal towards potential future offenders that they will not get away with their crimes unpunished."