Charge, Sentence Reduced for Pedophile

The Appeal Court on Thursday reduced the charge and sentence against a Chinese national who was convicted last year of raping a teenage girl, according to anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).

Lou Chin Tong was arrested last March for raping a 17-year-old girl and sentenced by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to seven years in prison and ordered to pay $1,000.

But the Appeal Court on Thursday reduced Mr. Tong’s charge to attempted rape, reduced his sentence to five years and suspended it by three years and six months—meaning Mr. Tong could go free in September.

The court said the ruling was justified be- cause the victim went unconscious during the crime, and thus could not confirm the act, the release from APLE says.

Khoem Vando, deputy director of field operations at APLE, said the court’s ruling is wrong.

“The victim suffered negative con- sequences and deserves to see justice,” he said.

The victim’s lawyer, Chea Nara, said his client would   file an appeal with the Supreme Court. “We cannot accept this result,” he said.

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