Following a court hearing on July 10, the Appeal Court on Wednesday ruled to amend the charge against a man convicted of rape to indecent assault and reduced his prison sentence from five years to two.
At the courtroom on Wednesday, Presiding Judge Yun Narong read the court’s verdict in front of the convict, Leng Kimleang, 29, who had been convicted of raping a woman in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district last year.
The judge said after listening to the statements of Kimleang, his defence lawyer and the prosecutor, and following a review of the evidence, the court found that the convict did not rape the victim, but only touched her body.
The Appeal Court thus overruled the verdict of the Kandal provincial court and changed the charge from rape to indecent assault.
“The Appeal Court rules to change the charge because, on the day in question, the convict merely touched the victim and she protested.
“The Kandal provincial court sentenced the convict to five years in prison, but the Appeal Court hereby changes the sentence to two years,” the judge said.
The court report said the convict had befriended the 25-year-old victim and on November 2, last year and took her on a motorbike to her rented room in Sa’ang district.
Once there, the report said, the two sat down and ate noodles. Kimleang then asked to have sex with the victim, but she declined.
The woman told Kimleang to leave but he wouldn’t go and instead went to take a shower in her bathroom.
When he came out of the bathroom, wearing only his underpants, Kimleang went to lock the door to make it harder for the victim to leave, the report said.
It continued that Kimleang then grabbed the woman and put his hand over her mouth, leading to a struggle on the floor.
Kimleang began touching the victim inappropriately, but she managed to push him away and ran out of the room to find the security guard, who immediately called the police who arrived and, after questioning Kimleang and the victim, decided to arrest the former.
The Kandal provincial court issued a verdict in May, sentencing Kimleang to five years in prison for rape.