Separate Cases of Child Rape Heard at Court

Two men accused in separate cases of raping girls under the age of 15 had their cases heard in closed-door hearings at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Sok Phally, 53, who is currently at large, is charged with raping and indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmei commune in 2012.

Deputy prosecutor Meas Chan Piseth on Tuesday requested the charges be raised to purchasing child prostitution, which carries a sentence of seven to 15 years, according to San Sony, the girl’s lawyer.

Presiding Judge Meng Tony has yet to decide on the request.

Ms. Sony also requested $5,000 compensation for the victim.

In a separate closed-door hearing Tuesday, Au Vanna, 34, appeared on charges of raping a girl under the age of 15 in 2012.

Mr. Vanna’s defense lawyer Neang Hai said his client denied the charge and requested the court drop the charges against him.

“He denies the charges because he did not commit the crime…. He said he did not know the victim before he [was charged],” Mr. Hai said.

Judge Sam Nat said a verdict in Mr. Vanna’s case would be handed down September 12.

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