By Mariam Harutunian
YEREVAN (AFP) — A child sex scandal allegedly involving a prominent businessman has shocked Armenia, prompting charges that the country is failing to combat pedophilia due to ridiculously light sentencing.
Prosecutors fear that the country risks becoming a hub for international child sex tourism like certain Asian countries unless rapid action is taken to make punishment more rigorous.
Armenian media widely publicized allegations about sex crimes against teenagers by a businessman who until recently was also an adviser to the country’s prime minister.
The businessman, mining company owner Serop Der-Boghossian, has denied the allegations and said that his accusers were attempting to blackmail him.
The case drew even more attention when Prime Minister Tigran Sargisian wrote about it on his personal blog on Monday, promising that the investigation would be “swift, comprehensive and transparent.”