American tourist arrested on child sex charge in Cambodia


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – An American man has been detained in Cambodia for allegedly committing a sexual offense against a 13-year-old girl.

Prosecutor Hing Bunchea said Monday a 60-year-old tourist, Richard David Mitchell, was charged with soliciting sex with a minor and sexual molestation.

He said that, if convicted on both charges, the American man could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. He could not provide the hometown of the arrested man.

Urm Rathana, chief of Phnom Penh’s anti-human trafficking unit, said police arrested Mitchell at a city park Thursday night (28 Aug).

He said witnesses informed the police after seeing the American expose himself to the girl.

Mitchell’s Cambodian lawyer, Uch Sophal, declined to comment on the case.

Poverty and weak law enforcement have made Cambodia a preferred destination for foreigners seeking to prey on children, although local police say they have stepped up efforts against pedophiles.