Asia

Cambodia convicts US paediatrician for sex abuse

James D'Agostino arrives for the hearing of his verdict at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court 4 November 2011
Image caption Before going to Cambodia, D'Agostino was a paediatric doctor in New York state

An American paediatrician has been sentenced by a Cambodian court to four years in prison for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy.

James D'Agostino, 56, was found guilty of purchasing child prostitution.

D'Agostino, a volunteer doctor at a children's hospital in the capital Phnom Penh, denied the charges even as he was sentenced.

The former pediatric emergency doctor will be deported after serving his prison term.

"I don't agree with it. I am innocent," he told AFP news agency after the verdict.

D'Agostino was arrested in February 2011 after the boy told authorities about the abuse. The teenager had stayed in the home of the doctor, who paid for his tuition.

Since 2003, Cambodian police and courts have increasingly targeted sex offenders, in an attempt to shake off the country's reputation as a haven for foreign paedophiles.