The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday sentenced a 38-year-old Chinese man to seven years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl in Meanchey district’s Prek Pra commune in December last year, a court official said.
“The court has decided to sentence Mr. Lou Chin Tong to seven years in prison and ordered him to pay 12 million riel [about $3,000] in compensation to the victim,” presiding Judge Suos Sam Ath said Wednesday.
Mr. Lou, who worked as a finance manager at the Global Taxi company, was arrested by anti-human trafficking police in March and charged with raping the 17-year-old daughter of a shop owner in December.
According to anti-pedophile NGO Action pour les Enfants (APLE), Mr. Lou had been friends with the girl’s father, Yi Kimhong, 38, and regularly visited their home.
During the trial on October 22, Mr. Kimhong said that Mr. Lou had fled to China for several months immediately after raping his daughter, and that representatives of Global Taxi offered to pay him $400 if he agreed not to file a complaint with police.
“He raped my daughter when my wife and I left her home alone,” Mr. Kimhong said during the hearing last month. Mr. Lou denied the charge.
Leang Eng, a representative of Global Taxi, denied Wednesday that the company had offered Mr. Kimhong any money in exchange for his silence, but claimed that Mr. Lou was innocent.
“This is injustice for Mr. Lou. The company’s lawyer will appeal this verdict,” Mr. Eng said.
Yi Moden, APLE’s deputy director of field operations, applauded the court’s decision.
“Today’s verdict means justice for the girl,” Mr. Moden said in a statement.