Suspect Says Child Sex Charge False

ReutersAlexander Trofimov leaving a court in Phnom Penh after a hearing Tuesday.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Russian businessman Alexander Trofimov denied charges that he sexually abused a young girl at his trial Tuesday in Cambodia.

Trofimov is accused of debauchery, a Cambodian legal offense covering sexual abuse of children that is punishable by 10 years to 20 years in jail.

Police arrested the 41-year-old man in October on allegations that he had sexually abused as many as 19 girls since 2005. The trial covers only one offense.

Testimony concluded Tuesday, with presiding judge Ke Sakhan setting Friday for announcing the verdict.

The alleged victim, a 14-year-old girl, testified that Trofimov had sex with her in September last year.

She claimed that she received $100 out of $1,000 the Russian man had allegedly paid a broker to bring her to him.

Trofimov denied the charge. "I have never seen her or committed any sex acts with her," he said through a translator. He urged the court to release him.

Trofimov runs a company that in late 2006 received permission from the Cambodian government to develop Koh Puos, or Snake Island, off the coastal town of Sihanoukville, into a tourist resort.

Phal Vannara, a 34-year-old Cambodian man, is charged with conspiracy in the abuse for his alleged role in procuring the girl for the Russian. He is being tried along side Trofimov.