msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/11/2012 7:02:13 AM ET 2012-01-11T12:02:13

A Cambodian court on Wednesday sentenced an American doctor to 10 years in prison for paying for sex with two boys, aged 12 and 15.

The boys' parents filed a complaint to police who monitored Phillip Bruce Shepard, 69, and arrested him in July.

Shepard worked at a private Phnom Penh clinic before he was arrested, The Australian Associated Press quoted an official from a local anti-pedophile group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) as saying.

APLE started watching the Michigan native in 2007 after he was seen going into a hotel room with two boys.

The court ordered Shepard expelled once he serves his prison time.

Cambodia has long been a magnet for foreign pedophiles because of poverty and poor law enforcement. In recent years police and courts have increasingly targeted sex offenders.

Child protection activists were dismayed last month when at least three convicted offenders were freed by royal pardon, including a Russian who was the focus of the country's largest pedophilia case after he paid for sex with 17 girls, the AAP reported.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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