CLOSED-DOOR hearings ended yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the case against a Buddhist layman and his assistant, both of whom have been charged with multiple counts of rape. Presiding Judge Duch Kimsorn did not announce a verdict date.
Ros Sarin, a layman at Sovan Thormareach pagoda in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district, and his assistant, Hang Samoeun, were both arrested by military police last year. They are charged with the repeated rape of a 37-year-old woman in attacks dating back to 1994, as well as purchasing child prostitution from an underage girl in the woman’s care.
“I hope the court will bring justice for my two clients, because they were truly victimised,” said Te Chamnan, the 37-year-old woman’s lawyer. “The one girl was raped since she was 14 years old in 2007, and [the 37-year-old] was raped for more than 10 years beginning in 1994. During that time, she was not allowed to leave the pagoda.”
But Ros Sarin’s lawyer, Chan Vichet, said that both Ros Sarin and Hang Samoeun had repeatedly denied the charges in court, and said that the 37-year-old was romantically involved with Ros Sarin during the period in question.
“They were in love for more than 10 years, and hung out together both locally and overseas,” he said.