Convicted Child Abuser gets too light a punishment

Dutchman Cees C. who was previously convicted in Cambodia is again convicted in the Netherlands. He received a punishment which consisted of 240 hours community service and 180 days imprisonment, of which 177 days were probationary detention, for the possession of child pornography. The punishment is too light, according to Terre des Hommes Netherlands. Our local partner organisation APLE in Cambodia shadowed the man for four years and collected evidence against him. Ultimately Cees C. served ten months in prison in 2011 for abusing two underage boys. Terre des Hommes Netherlands thinks the court should have taken the Cambodian conviction into account. The Public Prosecutor had also requested this.

Sexual exploitation

When a convicted child sex offender is again brought to court because of a sexual offence, his previous Dutch convictions are always taken into account. Hoewever, Cees C. has a clean police record and insists he is innocent with regard to the Cambodian case and that the Cambodian criminal proceedings were wrong. The judge went along with this and disregarded the Cambodian conviction. Terre des Hommes Netherlands is very concerned about this. We fight for the conviction of Dutch citizens who sexually assault children abroad. It is a terrible shame that such a conviction is not taken seriously by the courts and Cees C. get off way too lightly.

Shadowing sexual predator

Our local partner Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) observed Cees C. from 2006 to 2010, but could not prove the allegations without the victims' testimonies. APLE's investigation gained momentum in 2010 when three child victims testified against the Dutchman. During the arrest, police found thousands of pictures of naked children on his computer.

Shelter and a school in Cambodia

When he was in Cambodia, Cees C. ran a local NGO and offered education to children. The local community supported him, as he was looked upon as a benefactor. Private individuals from The Netherlands supported his school. Shortly after the matter was made public, the boys withdrew their statements.

Suspicion of bribery

APLE suspected bribery. The victims no longer wanted to be represented by an APLE lawyer and during the court case they were interrogated without the presence of a lawyer, which is officially not allowed. The judge sentenced Cees C. with eighteen months imprisonment, of which eight months were probationary detention.

Removal

In May 2011, APLE requested the Cambodian Ministry of Internal Affairs to have Cees C. removed from the country. This request was granted: Cees C. was deported in July 2011 and black-listed, which meant he was banned from entering the country.

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