The Sihanoukville Municipal Court convicted a local military policeman Monday for the rape and robbery of a Canadian woman who had been vacationing at the beach resort in late March.
The 24-year-old victim, who returned to Cambodia in mid-August to assist in the prosecution of her attacker, said Tuesday that Judge Tack Kimsia had sentenced Khun Torn, 24, to 15 years imprisonment for rape and ordered him to pay $7,500 to compensate for the expenses she incurred bringing him to justice.
Tack Kimsia declined to speak to a reporter about the trial. So did Sihanoukville’s military police commander, Heang Nim.
But the woman, who declined to be identified for the sake of her security, said she was pleased with the verdict, even though the defendant was let off on a charge of possessing an illegal weapon.
“I can say I was very satisfied with the way I was treated by the court and the police,” she said of her past month back in Cambodia.
Rin Savoeun, chief of the investigation bureau for the Interior Ministry’s anti-trafficking police, who oversaw the investigation, said Tuesday that military policeman Khun Torn confessed to the crimes while in custody, but denied them in court.
Nonetheless, he said, “The evidence was enough. It was true.”
His men found two photographs and the amount and currency of money in Khun Torn’s possession that the victim had told them was stolen, he explained.
The Canadian woman described the circumstances of her assault on Tuesday.
It was just after midnight, on April 1, when she walked unaccompanied down a trail that led from Ocheteal Beach to the road that led to her guest house.
“I wasn’t aware at the time that the path went through the military [police] compound,” she said.
There were no lights, only a bright moon, and no signs of activity in the compound, until a barechested man stepped in her way.
“He had a machine gun and he forced me into a small house and he raped me…. When he was finished he stole my wallet and then he let me go. He stayed in the house. He allowed me to leave. First, he threatened me,” she said.
The woman recalled how her assailant, speaking in broken English and pointing the gun at her, said, “Don’t tell anyone.”
She returned to her guest house, fled to Phnom Penh and left Cambodia that day.
Rin Savoeun said that normally there are about 30 military police officers posted at that compound, but on that night they had all been assigned to protect Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had been in town for an inauguration.