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Hotel rape case heard at Phnom Penh court

Hotel rape case heard at Phnom Penh court

4 rape suspect
Im Vannara, charged with raping a guest at the King City Hotel, appears at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a staffer of a Daun Penh district hotel who stands accused of raping a guest at knifepoint.

In late November, Im Vannara, 26, allegedly entered the room of 30-year-old Sim Srey Nich at the Khmer City Hotel in the district’s Boeung Raing commune on the pretence that he was there to fix the television.

Sin Visal, presiding judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said Vannara then took out a knife and threatened to kill the victim if she did not have sex with him. Then, the judge said, he raped her twice.

Visal went on to say that after Srey Nich was raped for a second time, she went into the bathroom and found the knife. She took it, went back into the main room and lunged at the suspect, stabbing him in the chest. He fled, wounded, and the police arrested him on December 1 at his house in Boeung Raing commune.

Top Chhunlong, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that based on the hearing, he believed Vannara had committed the offence.

“Therefore, I would maintain the charges against him and ask the judge to strongly punish him according to the law.”  

During his trial yesterday, Vannara denied the allegations against him and maintained that the sex was consensual.

“I did not threaten her or forcibly rape her as accused. In fact, we agreed to have sex with each other, voluntarily. Therefore, I would like to ask the court to drop the charge against me and release me,” he said.

His verdict will be handed down in the afternoon today.

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