Singer Gets Maximum Term, Prostitution Charge Changed

A popular singer sentenced to seven years in prison last year for using the promise of future stardom to convince a 14-year-old girl to have sex with a Cambodian-American man had her jail term reduced to five years by the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Ou Reaksmey, 36, who worked for television production company Rey Meas and karaoke video production firm Chhlong Den, was arrested in January 2014 and convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August for bringing the girl to have sex with the unidentified man for three consecutive days.

She has repeatedly denied facilitating the statutory rape.

Appeal Court Judge Plang Samnang announced on Monday the charge against the singer had been changed from procuring child prostitution to soliciting child prostitution, sentencing her to the maximum five years in prison and fining her 10 million riel, or about $2,500.

“Ms. Ou Reaksmey advised the girl to have sex with the elderly man and told her ‘If you want to be a superstar, please have sex with him,’” the judge said.

“The girl is not a virgin. Based on the results of the examination from the doctors, she had already had sex before,” he added, declining to explain how the girl’s sexual history was relevant to the case.

Judge Samnang said the court still considered Ms. Reaksmey’s crime to be serious.

“We decided to give her the maximum sentence because it was a very dangerous act,” he said.

Ms. Reaksmey’s lawyer, Nou Chantha, who was not present in court on Monday, said his client had not yet decided whether to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

“She already said during the trial she did not do anything wrong,” he said.

San Sony, the victim’s law-yer, could not be reached for comment.

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