U.S. man accused of abuse of Cambodian girls

A 50-year-old American man was charged Tuesday with allegedly sexually abusing at least six girls in Cambodia, a court official said.

Michael John Koklich, of Florida, was also charged with injuring a Cambodian policeman when he rammed his motorcycle into a police barricade to try to escape arrest last Friday, said municipal court prosecutor Sok Kalyan.

The prosecutor said he also filed a third charge against Koklich for forgery of a passport he used to enter Cambodia under the name John Doe.

Police arrested Koklich after weeks of surveillance during which he was seen several times bringing girls into his rented apartment in the capital Phnom Penh, said Beatrice Magnier, director of the French child advocacy group Action Pour Les Enfants, or Action for Children, which had tipped off the police.

Two of them, under the age of 15, told investigators he had sex with them, Magnier said.

During a court appearance Monday, Koklich said he admitted to having sex with some of the girls but denied injuring a policeman.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for the charge of debauchery, a Cambodian legal term for sex offenses against children, five years for causing injuries, and 15 years for forgery, the prosecutor said.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment, reports the AP.


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