Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Healer tried for rape

Healer tried for rape

Traditional healer Chin Ramo, 24 (centre), who was charged with repeatedly raping a minor, leaves Phnom Penh's Municipal Court.
Traditional healer Chin Ramo, 24 (centre), who was charged with repeatedly raping a minor, leaves Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court. HONG MENEA

Healer tried for rape

A 24-year-old traditio­nal healer was charged yesterday by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with raping a 13-year-old girl in Mondulkiri’s Koh Nhek district.

Seng Neng, presiding judge at the court, said Chin Ramo, 24, was charged with “raping a girl under the age” when she visited his house last year. The offence is punishable with five to 10 years' imprisonment.

“He is known by the parents of the victim in Koh Nhek district. He brought the victim to visit his house, and forcibly raped her,” the judge said.

The victim’s parents filed a complaint against the healer in May.

During his hearing yesterday, Ramo admitted to statutory rape, but said he and the victim were boyfriend and girlfriend and had consensual sex multiple times.

“I accept that I really had sex with her, but I did not force or rape her as accused. She voluntarily had sex with me,” he told the court and asked that the charges against him be dropped.

Having consensual sex with a minor under the age of 15 is also illegal in Cambodia, and carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

Lim Chan Lida, the victim’s lawyer, alleges that the healer lured the girl to his house.

“The suspect’s activity has strongly damaged my client’s honour, so my client has demanded $10,000 compensation, and is asking the court to strongly punish him,” she said.

Within the past year, there have been at least four other traditional healers tried in court for rape and sexual abuse.

In May, a 68-year old healer was sent to prison in Battambang for sexually abusing and raping three of his patients.

However, the women’s and children’s rights director at rights group Adhoc said it is not a common crime compared to other forms of rape.

“Adhoc has seen a few cases each year,” said Chuon Chamrong. “Most commonly it happens in very rural areas.”

The verdict will be handed down on Wednesday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LAIGNEE BARRON

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty