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Groping claim: Defamation concerns for waitress

Groping claim: Defamation concerns for waitress

A waitress in Banteay Meanchy province who filed a sexual harassment complaint early last month against two customers she accused of groping and humiliating her has been accused of defamation by one of them, she said yesterday.

Hi Theary, who was scheduled to be questioned by a judge about her complaint yesterday, said she had requested a delay until she could be accompanied by a lawyer.

Suom Chankea, provincial co-ordinator of rights group Adhoc, said he was worried that testimony given yesterday would be used in the defamation charge against her. “I urged the prosecutor to issue a letter for the victim to be accompanied by a lawyer,” he said.

An official with demining group CMAC had filed a defamation complaint against her, Hi Theary said. In early November, she accused him and his drinking companion of sexual harassment after they allegedly groped her at a restaurant in the province’s Sisophon district.

She said the two men and others at their table forced her to drink with them on November 8. They refused to allow her to leave and began wrapping their arms around her waist, she said, adding that when she protested they groped her in front of other customers, leaving her feeling deeply ashamed.

She filed a complaint with Adhoc staff the next day and they helped her file a court complaint against the pair. She said she wanted the two men punished and compensation of US$2,000.

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