Following a two-year police investigation, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Saturday charged a 51-year-old British man with producing pornography involving girls as young as 8, officials said Tuesday.
Graham McCallum was arrested Nov 25 at his rental home in Chamkar Mon district’s Tuol Svay Prey II commune, according to Bith Kimhong, director of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking department.
Bith Kimhong said pornographic images discovered by police in 2006 depict McCallum abusing girls as young as 8 years old.
The belated arrest is significant because “it is important to let [offenders] know that Cambodia has its law and Cambodia is enforcing it and will not allow them to commit such crimes,” Bith Kimhong said, noting that McCallum is being held in Prey Sar prison.
McCallum’s arrest is linked to the investigation of convicted US pedophile Michael Pepe, Bith Kimhong said, adding that McCallum and Pepe were friends.
Pepe is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty in the US state of California of sexually abusing seven girls while working at a university in Phnom Penh. He faces up to 210 years in a US federal prison. McCallum also taught in Phnom Penh.
“They are friends, and they helped each other to make pornography,” Bith Kimhong said, adding that he did not recall at what school McCallum taught English.
Municipal court Deputy Prosecutor Sok Kalyan said that McCallum’s alleged victims were photographed from 2004 to 2006 and featured girls aged 12 to 14.
Sok Kalyan said the court chose to only charge McCallum for producing pornography because it carries the highest possible penalty of a five- to 10-year prison sentence.
Heam Socheat, the attorney who is representing McCallum, said Tuesday that the photos the court is using as evidence are not of McCallum and underaged girls.
“The photos are of Graham [McCallum] and his girlfriend,” he said.
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