The families of 22 boys involved in a case where Dutch national Evrard Nicolas Sarot was found guilty of producing child pornography in 2018 received compensation last week, two years after the conviction.
Sarot was convicted of producing child pornography by the Siem Reap Provincial Court in 2018 after numerous compromising photos were found on electronic devices belonging to the Dutch national. The court handed him a five-year prison sentence, three of which were suspended by the court. He was also ordered to pay around $11,000 in compensation to the families of the children.
Child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants said this week that the families of 22 boys had received compensation.
Keut Vannareth, Siem Reap Provincial Court prosecutor, said on Thursday that the Sarot had agreed to pay the 16 families, but after some negotiations, the compensation figure was reduced to around $8,000.
“The defendant agreed to pay only $8,000 to the 16 families and the victims’ families also agreed to receive it,” he said, unable to provide additional details of the compensation handover.
Yin Srang, a Siem Reap Provincial Court spokesperson, declined to comment and referred queries to the prosecutor.
Sem Sophal, Sarot’s defense lawyer, has in the past defended his client’s actions, saying Sarot was only taking normal pictures of children. He said he was unaware of the Sarot’s case details anymore.
The mother of one of the children said the compensation pared in comparison to the trauma her child had been subjected to, but that it would be used to support the child’s education.
“Although the financial compensation does not repair the damage to my son and it is not a large amount, this money will be used to support my child’s daily life and education for a short while,” the mother said.
Khoem Vando, a child protection specialist at NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said some of the boys were now studying in high school, but others had to drop out because of financial reasons.
He said 18 child sex offenders had been arrested in 2019, whereas there were 13 arrests this year.