The Appeal Court yesterday upheld Siem Reap Provincial Court’s 2010 decision to sentence 57-year-old Australian Giuseppe Nicolosi to eight years in prison on charges of raping a minor in Siem Reap.
Presiding judge Phlang Samnang said that Nicolosi was charged by the court with purchasing the services of a child prostitute and prosecuted under Article 34 of the anti-trafficking and exploitation law.
Nicolosi was arrested by Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection police on suspicion of having sex with a five-old-girl in Sala Kamroeuk commune in Siem Reap three years ago.
“The suspect has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court if he does not accept this verdict,” Samnang said.
Nicolosi could not be contacted for comment yesterday, but his lawyer, Kao Soupha, called the court’s decision “black, dirty” and tainted with fear.
Soupha pointed out that the victim’s testimony, and the medical examination of the victim revealed no evidence that she had been sexually abused.
“Now, I do not know what proof or reason the Court of Appeal has to uphold my client’s verdict like this, but it was not right decision,” he said, adding that he will appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at email@example.com