Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Accused offender cites ‘consensual sex’ as grounds for appeal



Accused offender cites ‘consensual sex’ as grounds for appeal

Accused offender cites ‘consensual sex’ as grounds for appeal

A man convicted of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl in Phnom Penh in 2017 requested an Appeal Court judge to reduce his sentence on Tuesday.

His lawyer maintained the sex was consensual and his client didn’t know her age.

At the hearing, Van Kanan, 27, told the judge that he and the victim lived in the same village and he had known her for four to five months.

He said they would frequently have romantic conversations and he never asked about her age. The victim allegedly told him that she was in the 10th grade at Santhomuk High School. He said she had a big body and was 1.6m tall.

Kanan allegedly invited the victim to his rented room in Por Sen Chey district’s Chaom Chao commune to take care of him because he felt unwell. At that time, Kanan said she agreed to have sex with him.

Kanan said: “I filed a complaint to the Appeal Court to lower my punishment to six months because I truly had [consensual] sex with her.”

Reading the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s original report at the appeal hearing, presiding Judge In Vanvibol said on February 1, 2017, at 2:30 pm, the victim went to the suspect’s room, where he raped her.

The report said on February 2, 2017, the victim told her mother, who then filed a complaint to the police to detain Kanan.

The municipal court later changed its charge of aggravated rape to sexual intercourse with a minor under 15.

Kanan was sentenced to four years imprisonment and ordered to pay 20 million riel ($4,857) to the victim as compensation.

Kanan filed an appeal because he deemed the punishment and fines to be excessive, Judge Vanvibol said.

“The court required the victim to be present at the hearing [on Tuesday]. The answer of the victim made the suspect go to prison, but the victim is absent,” said Judge Vanvibol.

Prosecutor Chea Met said the victim also filed a complaint to the Appeal Court because she believed she received too little compensation.

Met said: “The lower court’s decision was right. I would like the court to uphold its original judgment. Medical examinations proved that Kanan raped the victim,” he said.

The victim’s lawyer Sin Sovorn said: “The evidence sent to the police was a broken button and a broken pants zipper. The forensic evidence also showed that it was rape,” she said.

Sovorn said her client did not agree to the 20 million riel compensation and asked for 40 million instead.

Kanan’s lawyer who declined to be identified said it was wrong to consider the crime as juvenile rape.

He said the victim used to tell Kanan that she was 16 years old. Furthermore, she only told her parents about the alleged rape when they questioned her.

“My client is not a sex offender. He had sex with the girl under mutual agreement. May the court please lower the punishment,” the lawyer appealed.

Judge Vanvibol said he will announce his decision on July 13.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to