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Five years for teen rapists

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Family members cry as Yorng Sok Chamroeun, 18, leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. The teenager and his accomplice were sentenced for the rape of a girl yesterday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced two high-school students to five years in prison yesterday for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in the capital last year, court officials said.

Yorng Sok Chamroeun, 18, was charged last year with rape and sexual intimidation and Ngeth Chamroeun, 19, with being an accomplice to rape.

Yorng Sok Chamroeun was arrested in Chamkarmon district on May 20 last year following a complaint from the girl’s parents, but Ngeth Chamroeun has so far evaded arrest. Yorng Sok Chamroeun was found guilty of raping the girl on May 10 last year, taking pornographic photographs of her, and extorting US$1,800 from her to not make the photographs public.

Judge Ke Sakhorn, municipal court deputy director, said in court yesterday that Ngeth Chamroeun would face imprisonment upon his arrest and ordered the two to pay $1,800 and 2,000,000 riel (US$494) in compensation to the victim.

The girl testified at a hearing on May 18 that she had gone with Yorng Sok Chamroeun to Nheth Chamroeun’s house where she was put to sleep by a substance dissolved into a drink she was given.  “After drinking that water, I felt sleepy and Yorng Sok Chamroeun took me to one room in the house,” she said. “While I was asleep, I was raped.”

Yorng Sok Chamroeun denied the allegations and told the judge that he and the girl had consensual sex, claiming that she had stolen $1,800 from her parents to buy a motorbike.

Ke Sakhorn said that the two men could appeal the verdict within one month.

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