Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court hears ‘virgin’ trade case

Court hears ‘virgin’ trade case

Court hears ‘virgin’ trade case

2 massage suspects

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case of two women charged with procuring prostitutes, including a 16-year-old whose vagina was allegedly sewn repeatedly by the suspects so she could be sold as a virgin.

Presiding judge Chaing Sinath said Tith Phon, 47, and Chea Kimyenh, 32, were charged by the court for “procurement of prostitution”, a crime falling under human trafficking and sexual exploitation laws.

Anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection officers arrested Phon in a raid at the Minico Hotel in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district last September, while Kimyenh was arrested at her rental home, according to police.

The suspects were arrested after the victims complained that they had been brought to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap hotels to have sex with men for payment, of which the madams would take a sizeable cut, the judge said.

The 16-year-old victim told the court that she had met Kimyenh in Phnom Penh in August 2011 and was offered the prospect of well-paid work.

She was first brought to see a customer in September that year and paid $200, half of which Kim­yenh took as commission, she said, adding that afterwards she was regularly sent to meet wealthy customers in hotels.

In order to convince customers that she was a virgin and charge a higher price, Kimyenh would sometimes sew her vagina before sending her to certain customers who would pay more than $1,000, the 16-year-old victim told the court.

“Based on the hearing and evidence, they have really committed the offence as accused. Therefore, I would like to maintain the charges against them and ask the court to punish them,” deputy prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth said yesterday.

However, the suspects denied the accusations, saying they didn’t even know the victims.

“I did not know about this case. I was not involved and did not commit these crimes as accused. Also, I do not know these girls. I would like to ask the court to drop the charges and release me,” Kimyenh told the court yesterday.

The verdicts will be handed down on May 30.

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