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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trafficking case verdict holds fast

Trafficking case verdict holds fast

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday upheld the decision it made in 2010 when it sentenced Ath Onn - mother of renowned kickboxer Ei Phouthang - in absentia to 17 years in prison and fined her $15,000 on human-trafficking charges, presiding judge Sous Sam Ath said.

Onn, who was arrested earlier this year, burst into tears and dropped to the courtroom floor upon hearing the verdict.

“I cannot accept the court’s decision,” she said. “I will continue to resist until I die.”

At her re-trial in October, Sam Ath said Onn, 58, had convinced a young deaf woman, now 23, to go to Thailand to live with Onn’s sister and work as a maid. 

Onn left her, instead, to be raped, forced into sex slavery, impregnated and ultimately forced to give up her infant son.

In court last month, the victim denied Onn’s claim that she had been pregnant when they met, saying that she got pregnant and gave birth in Thailand, only to have her baby sold for $163, about $65 of which she was allowed to keep.

“I didn’t receive any money, as they promised to give me a thousand baht a month,” the victim said at the time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lieng Sarith at sarith.lieng@phnompenhpost.com

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