Cambodia's Bureau of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection has charged British man Matthew William Watkin for the sexual assault of two minors. Watkin was arrested in Siem Reap on Wednesday, following a complaint from the girls' mother. Police are investigating the allegations while Watkin remains in police custody.

The 37-year-old from Shrewsbury had moved to Cambodia to teach children English. He and his wife had been living in the Siem Reap district for several months. The two unnamed girls aged 13 and 17 spent the night at the couple's home. After they returned home, their mother alleged that Watkin had abused her daughters.

On Monday, the woman filed a complaint with the police. The case was reported to Kert Vannareth, a prosecutor of the Siem Reap Provincial Court. After conducting a preliminary investigation, the police arrested the British man.

On Wednesday night at 11:55 pm local time, Watkin was taken into police custody. Watkin faces sexual assault charges by the Bureau of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection. When questioned, Watkin stated that he had merely kissed the girls goodnight. He pointed out that when kissing them on their forehead, his stubble rubbed against their face. He denied having sex with the girls.

The Daily Mail reported that the two girls are related to Watkin's wife. Because they were related, the girls were entrusted to spend the night with the couple. The exact relationship between the woman and the girls has not been disclosed.

The department director, Colonel Chea Heng, confirmed the incident and arrest. He stated that a British passport holder has been arrested on charges of sexual assault of minors. He also confirmed that Watkin will remain in police custody until the court proceedings are over.

A spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said that they were in touch with the local authorities regarding the case. Consular support will be provided to the British national from the FCO if he needs it.

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A British man has been arrested on sexual assault charges in Cambodia. (representational image) REUTERS/Samrang Pring