Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese man guilty of indecent assault

Japanese man guilty of indecent assault

Japanese man guilty of indecent assault

The Siem Reap Provincial Court sentenced a Japanese man to two years in prison and fined him five million riel ($1,250) after he was found guilty of sexually harassing an underage girl.

The verdict, handed down yesterday morning, convicted Shuji Yamagishi, 41, of indecent assault instead of the original, more serious charge of sexual intercourse with a minor.

Hong Sambath, the victim’s lawyer from Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), was not happy with the sentence.

“We are not satisfied with the final verdict because two years, from which one year is suspended, is too little,” he said.

A five million riel fine was also not enough because “the victim demanded 40 million riel”.

Sambath added he would meet with the victim’s family to discuss their next step.

The case was heard in the Siem Reap provincial court on November 23.

Yamagishi, who had been liv­ing in Cambodia for about five years as a re­­searcher of Khmer culture and lived in a rented hotel room in the same com­plex as his alleged victim, was arrested on May 15 in Svay Dangkum commune in Siem Reap province and charged with having sex with a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

Sambath told the court that the accused had a video-game machine in his room that he used to lure children to spend time with him alone.

In this instance, he locked the door after he pulled the victim into his room.

The victim’s cousin, suspicious of Yamagishi, knocked on the door 10 minutes later.

Upon examination, the victim was found to have sustained minor injuries to her vagina.

Khem Vando, a project manager of APLE in Phnom Penh, said his organisation had co-operated with police to save scores of underaged victims since early January.

“Victims are legally supported and provided with safe houses with partner organisations,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]


  • Report: Cambodia’s internet freedom slipping

    Althought still ranked “Partly Free”, internet freedom in Cambodia is slipping, says a report by Freedom House, a US-based democracy, political freedom and human rights watchdog. But the deputy secretary of the Ministry of Justice said the report “did not reflect the truth”. The report

  • 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

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Kem Sokha off the menu as Smith talks judicial independence

    The UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, on Tuesday, focused on “judicial independence” at a meeting with Ministry of Justice officials. Both Smith and ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (