Sin Veasna (L), 17, and Var Than (C), 23, exit the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh following a hearing, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld verdicts for seven youths found guilty of gang-raping an 18-year-old in Kampot Province’s Teuk Chhou District in May 2011.
Two weeks ago in an Appeal Court hearing, three of the accused – Sin Veasna, 17, Var Than, 23, and Pov Phy, 16 – denied ever committing the crime, with Veasna telling the court he had only gone to watch and did not participate in the rape.
Yesterday, Veasna had his sentence reduced from three-and-a-half to two years in prison.
The other six – including Seng Ratha, 25, Pov Ty, 15, Sok Dara, 17, and Ly Sokheng, 16 – saw no change in their sentences.
Ratha and Than had been sentenced to nine years each by the Kampot Provincial Court, and the rest to three-and-a-half years.
The seven suspects and their lawyers could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The group stands convicted of raping Ratha’s girlfriend, who Ratha had brought to a vacant house to have sex with, afterwards inviting the others in to rape her.
The couple and the other defendants had been drinking heavily all afternoon.
A day later, the victim tried to commit suicide, but was stopped by relatives and sent to the provincial hospital for treatment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at firstname.lastname@example.org