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Austrian sentenced for Kolkata misdeed

An Austrian court sentences a 39-year-old man to two years in jail for sexually abusing a small boy.

world Updated: Dec 18, 2007 21:44 IST

Striking against international sex tourism, a court in Austria on Tuesday found an Austrian guilty of sexually abusing a small boy in Kolkata.

The 39-year-old unemployed man from Linz was sentenced to two years in jail without probation, the Austrian press agency said.

The court heard that the man, who has two similar previous convictions, travelled to India more than once and stayed there for several months at a time.

Witnesses said that he took small boys into this hotel room a few times per week. Two witnesses, an Australian living in Britain and a French citizen, who worked as volunteers for a charity in Kolkata, saw the Austrian in March 2006, when he went to his hotel with a boy, aged between six and nine.

The two men followed the accused and watched him performing sexual acts on the boy via his hotel window. Back in Britain, the Australian witness reported the incident to the police.

Austrian authorities were told by an Indian hotel owner that the man took boys to his room two or three times per week.

The accused paedophile denied the charges and said he travelled to India because he "liked the culture" and appealed the verdict. After a lengthy spell of therapy he was staying away from children, the man said.