Source AP ©

Thailand files additional charges against Canadian pedophile

A Canadian pedophile has got additional charges Wednesday as the other boy testified that he had been sexually abused four years ago, an official said.

Canadian schoolteacher Christopher Neil was arrested in Thailand last Friday after Interpol issued a worldwide appeal to identify and apprehend him. He had been sought by police since photos appeared on the Internet allegedly showing him sexually abusing boys in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

When he was arrested, Neil was charged with sexually molesting a 9-year-old boy in 2003.

New charges were filed Wednesday after the boy's older brother, who was 14 at the time, also testified that he had been sexually molested by the suspect, said Lt. Col. Manat Thongsimuang, deputy chief of the police's Suppression of Crime Against Children, Juveniles and Women Division.

Police informed Neil, who is being detained at Bangkok Remand Prison, of the new charges, Manat said.

"He refused to give a statement until he has a lawyer," said Manat, adding that Neil's family in Canada is arranging to hire a lawyer for him.

The new charges consist of taking away a child under 15 without parental consent with intent to molest, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and sexual abuse of a child under 15, punishable by up to 10 years, Manat said.

Photos of the siblings were among some 200 pictures found by Interpol on the Internet in which the face of the perpetrator was digitally obscured.

After German police computer experts managed to unscramble the photos so the man's face was recognizable, Interpol circulated them publicly, and tip-offs led them to identify Neil as the suspect.

Several countries in Southeast Asia are popular with pedophiles because of poverty that drives children and their parents to accept money for sexual favors, and because of lax law enforcement.

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