Orphanage Manager Gets 10 Years for Rape

The manager of an orphanage center in Battambang province was convicted of raping two of his charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday, court officials said.

Yim Chanrom, 23, was also or­dered to pay $500 to each of the two victims, who were staying at the orphanage in Anh Chanh village in Battambang district’s O’Cha commune, Judge Pech Chhoeuth said Thursday.

The girls, both 17, were forced to have sex the first time, but for the second, third and subsequent occasions, they consented to the sex voluntarily, Pech Chhoeuth said.

“Both the criminal and the victims gave the same answer,” he said.

Yim Chanrom tried to refute the charges, saying he never forced the girls to have sex, said Sim Souyong, the victims’ lawyer and director of the NGO Pro­tection of Juvenile Justice.

“But it was a forcible rape because he used his position and threatened to expel the victims from the center if the girls dared to report the case to the police or the center officials,” the lawyer said.

He said he tried to convince the judge to sentence Yim Chan­rom to 15 to 20 years in prison.

“I can’t fight the judges’ decision,” Sim Souyong said.

Chanthol Oung, executive director of the Cambodian Wom­en’s Crisis Center, said Yim Chan­rom should have received a more severe sentence.

“For my private opinion, the person who looks after and cares for small girls should be a woman rath­er than a man,” Chanthol Oung said.

She said this was the first time she heard of an orphanage manager committing a sex crime with the girls at the center.

Judge Pech Chhoeuth said he decided on 10 years because the girls were over 14 years-old. Yim Chan­rom is being held in provincial prison.


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