Prosecutors filed an appeal seeking a stiffer sentence against convicted Russian pedophile Alexander Trofimov, whom Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court sentenced to three years in prison last week for committing indecent acts against 17 girls, court officials said Monday.
Judge Plang Samnang confirmed that the court’s chief prosecutor, Meas Sopheak, filed the appeal Jan 21, the day after Trofimov was found guilty, but he could not say when the appeal would reach a hearing.
“The prosecutor has filed the complaint to appeal due to this minimal sentence,” Plang Samnang said.
Reached Monday, Meas Sopheak declined to confirm the appeal or to comment further on the case.
Peng Maneth, an attorney for Trofimov’s victims, said Monday her clients welcomed the appeal and hoped the court would see it through.
“The victims are happy with this information since three years in prison for him seems not enough,” she said. “I hope the Appeal Court will hold the trial for this case with very high attention.”
Bith Kimhong, head of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-human trafficking police department, said he was aware of the case and also felt the three-year prison term was light, given the evidence against Trofimov.
“We have medical checks, which showed that the victims were truly sexually abused,” he said. “And the diary of [Trofimov] shows that the man committed the crime since he wrote down some of the victims’ names in his diary.”
Seila Samleang, country director for the anti-pedophile group Action Pour Les Enfants, said his organization requested that the prosecution appeal the sentence since APLE feels that a three-year sentence for crimes against 17 victims was too mild.
“We did talk with the prosecutor. And we worked with the anti-human trafficking department,” Seila Samleang said, estimating that it should take about six months before the appeal is heard.
The Preah Sihanouk court also found the Russian developer guilty on Jan 20 on another, separate child sex abuse charge and sentenced him to eight years in prison for that case.