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American sentenced to one year in Cambodian prison for raping boy

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A 79-year-old American man was sentenced to one year in prison for raping a 10-year-old boy in Siem Reap in 2017, local media reported on Monday.

According to the Phnom Penh Post newspaper, John Paul Zollbrecht was sentenced by the Siem Reap Provincial court on Wednesday to one year imprisonment.

His accomplice, Nheb Sophorn, a 23-year-old Cambodian, who allegedly helped facilitate the abuse, received a harsher punishment and was sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison.

Both men were charged and found guilty of having a sexual intercourse with a minor.

Zollbrecht, who ran a community education centre in Siem Reap, was arrested by authorities in February 2017 following a tip-off from an anti-pedophile organisation Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).

The Post reported that the judge did not order Zollbrecht to be deported.

American child protection laws allow for domestic prosecution of U.S. nationals convicted of sexually abusing children overseas.

According to a press statement issued by APLE on Friday, the family of the boy is not satisfied with the short sentence and will appeal the verdict.

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