Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Convicted Kampong Cham teacher still free

Convicted Kampong Cham teacher still free

An exterior view of the school where former teacher Kem Chan Chhen allegedly sexually abused four students last year.
An exterior view of the school where former teacher Kem Chan Chhen allegedly sexually abused four students last year. Eliah Lillis

Convicted Kampong Cham teacher still free

Three weeks after a third arrest warrant was issued for a teacher convicted of sexually assaulting young students in Kampong Cham, police have still failed to arrest him, with the deputy provincial police chief claiming yesterday he had not received a warrant.

Kem Chan Chhen, a former teacher in Kampong Cham province, was found guilty on June 21 of sexually assaulting four girls in his care four years ago and using threats to secure their silence about his abuse.

Judge Ham Mengse sentenced him to five years in prison and issued yet another warrant for his arrest the same day, even though arrest warrants had already been issued in October and in December prior to Chan Chhen’s trial.

Provincial Deputy Police Chief Pol Vuthy defended the authorities’ inaction. “I have not seen the warrant yet and have not received it yet . . . and the previous warrant was invalidated [as it had expired],” Vuthy said.

One of Chan Chhen’s lawyers, Kea Eav, said his client had fled and intended to file an appeal by the end of this week. “The judge was biased. He made the punishment through his desire to get famous,” Eav claimed.

“He did not commit [this crime], and he just got along well with his students and students got along with him too, and this teacher made a mistake in that he broke his ethics,” Eav said, indicating Chan Chhen was merely “friendly” with students and not abusive.

“The judge should not have sentenced him to a heavy five years [in jail],” Eav added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • ‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 002/2 verdict to be delivered

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With

  • Analyst: Government appointments ‘a waste of national budget’

    The government has appointed over 200 officials as undersecretaries of state, secretaries of state, assistants and advisers at various institutions since October 1. While senior officials said the appointments were aimed at ensuring higher efficiency at the national level, social analysts said the practice is merely power-sharing