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Trial kicks off for woman in scalding case

Trial kicks off for woman in scalding case

PHNOM Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case against a Phnom Penh woman charged with intentional battery for allegedly dousing her teenage domestic servant with boiling water.

Sao Chanthy, a 39-year-old vendor, was arrested last month on accusations of seriously injuring a 17-year-old domestic servant in an August 13 incident at her Sen Sok district residence in which she allegedly threw scalding water on the boy’s stomach and hands. If found guilty, she faces up to a year in prison.

Sao Chanthy told the court yesterday that the boy’s injuries were the result of an accident.

“I unintentionally injured the boy by pouring boiling water on him when he came to the table where I had already boiled water and mixed milk into two plastic glasses for my 2-year-old daughter,” she said. At the time of her arrest, Sao Chanthy accused the boy of stealing about US$2.50.

However, the victim dismissed Sao Chanthy’s version of the story, referring to her as a “liar”.

“She accused me of stealing her money ... after checking my pocket and finding over 10,000 riels,” he said. “At the time, I denied stealing the money.... But she still got angry and poured boiling water on me while I was washing dishes in the kitchen.”

However, the boy admitted during questioning yesterday that he sometimes stole small amounts of cash, but “never over 10,000 riels ... and not very often”.

Koeur Bonnara, the deputy court prosecutor, said there was enough evidence to find the accused guilty, despite her “meaningless” denials.

“I have requested that court officials punish the woman according to the law,” he said.

San Sundalen, a lawyer provided to the victim by the local rights group Licadho, said she also requested that the woman be punished for inflicting the boy’s injuries.

Presiding Judge Ker Sakharn did not say when a verdict would be announced in the case.

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