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City court hears case of 'rape accomplice'

Phnom Penh Municipal Court held a hearing yesterday in the case of a 20-year-old woman accused of acting as an accomplice in the attempted rape of another woman.

The suspect allegedly spiked  the 20-year-old victim’s drink in June 2009, before luring her to a guesthouse in Preak Leap commune, in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district.

The accused, Chet Sokheng, is alleged to have physically restrained the other woman while a 50-year-old man attempted to rape her.

Chet Sokheng admitted yesterday to renting a room with the victim, and being present for the incident, but denied poisoning or physically restraining her.

“I neither poisoned her Coke with sleeping pills nor shut her mouth or slapped her face … to let the man rape her,” she told the court yesterday. “I just saw the man kiss and embrace her closely.”

The male suspect has not yet been arrested by city police.

A court clerk read a complaint filed to police by the victim three days after the alleged incident.

The statement said the accused went to the bathroom with a soft drink, which she then poured in the victim’s glass upon her return. Later at the guesthouse, the victim threatened to kill herself if the man raped her, causing him to he halt his advances.

In yesterday’s hearing, the court clerk read another statement, in which the victim withdrew her complaint, saying the 50-year-old man had promised to get engaged to her.

Court prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth requested the charges against Chet Sokheng be upheld, despite the new statement from the victim.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy said a verdict will be announced on February 7.

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