Phnom Penh Municipal Court Tries Alleged Minor Rape Cases

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a 28-year-old homeless man accused of raping two 14-year-old street boys in Daun Penh district, officials said.

The court also tried a 16-year-old boy who was charged with raping a 7-year-old girl in Meanchey district in March, a lawyer said.

Mab Thorn, 28, allegedly raped each teenager three times between 2010 and February this year in Chey Chumneah commune, said Noun Phanith, the victims’ lawyer from NGO Action Pour Les Enfants.

“My clients demand 8 million riel [or $2,000] in compensation,” Mr Phanith said, noting that Mr Thorn allegedly threatened the teenagers to keep quiet as he raped them.

However, defense lawyer Nou Chantha argued that Mr Thorn only admitted to having had sex once with one teenager. “My client did not intend to commit a crime, but it was just for fun,” Mr Chantha said.

In a separate case, the municipal court tried a 16-year-old boy ac­cused of raping a 7-year-old neighbor on March 29 in Stung Mean­­chey commune.

Defense lawyer Mann Sophal said the victim’s parents falsely accused the boy of rape, and a medical certificate from Phnom Penh referral hospital showed that the girl had not been raped.

“I think the case happened be­cause the victim’s father had a dispute with the suspect’s father,” Mr Sophal said. The victim’s lawyer, Srey Piseth, could not be reached.

The verdicts of the two closed hearings will be announced on July 29, lawyers said.

The municipal court also tried a third case yesterday in which a 16-year-old student was charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl in February, officials said.

Presiding judge Ke Sakhorn said the teenager claimed he and the girl had sex once because they loved each other. The victim’s mother had withdrawn the complaint and ac­cepted $2,500 from the defendant’s family, Mr Sakhorn added.

“If found guilty, the suspect still has to be punished,” he said, noting that the verdict would be handed down on July 21.

Defense lawyer Dy Borima said the girl lied and told the boy she was 16.


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