A HUSBAND and wife who recruited a child prostitute at Phnom Penh’s Sorya shopping mall were given 10-year jail terms yesterday.
Brothel owners Chab Thirith, 27, and wife, Ouk Kimren, 24, were found guilty of purchasing child prostitution after recruiting a 15-year-old girl as a sex worker last year.
They were arrested in December at their home, near Sorya mall in Phsar Thmey I commune, Daun Penh district, after the girl’s family lodged a complaint against them.
Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Kor Vandy, said yesterday that “they had run a brothel in their house for many years before they were arrested”.
“They lobbied the victim to work with them and forced her to have sex with guests in order to make money for their own interests,” he said, adding the couple must pay a total of 4 million riels (around US$1,000) in compensation to the girl.
Speaking to The Post yesterday, the 15-year-old victim said that she had first met the couple at Sorya. Ouk Kimren had then offered her a job, together with a good salary.
Without informing her parents, she decided to take up the offer.
“They had asked me to work with them but they did not tell me that what kind of work it was.
“I was detained by them in the room and they forced me to have sex with many old men, including Cambodians and foreigners,” she said.
She worked as a sex worker for a total of four months before escaping the brothel and returning home to her parents.
“I got sick because of having a lot of sex with old men. That meant I could escape when they were not at home. They were not paying much attention to me because of my sickness,” she said.
Although she was pleased by the verdict, she added: “I think that the compensation is very little for me if compared with [the loss of] my purity and honour.”