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Legal battle after ex-TV host claims Oknha’s rape attempt

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Pich Rita, formerly a TV presenter and Miss Grand Cambodia contestant, shows up at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Facebook

Legal battle after ex-TV host claims Oknha’s rape attempt

Prime Minister Hun Sen's volunteer lawyers are investigating accusations made by My TV presenter Mean Pich Rita that tycoon Heng Sear, who holds the honorific oknha, had attempted to rape her.

The two parties are currently filing counter lawsuits. Pich Rita, 20, sued the tycoon, 60, for attempted rape while Sear sued her for theft with aggravating circumstances.

Pich Rita was a TV presenter and former Miss Grand Cambodia contestant and Sear is the owner of a glass company.

Pich Rita was placed in pre-trial detention on May 11 following the complaint from Sear.

However, on May 11, Pich Rita filed her own complaint saying Sear had attempted to rape her.

According to the detention warrant issued by Investigating Judge Koy Sao dated May 11, Pich Rita had allegedly used a knife to attack Sear on two occasions and had stolen his iPhone 12 on May 4 in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district.

According to Pich Rita’s complaint, Sear had tried to persuade her to have sexual intercourse with him, saying he had a gun with him.

She said she managed to escape and did not tell anyone about it – including her family – until she was summoned by the Tuol Kork commune police, at which point she made the allegations against Sear and filed a counter-suit.

“If I hadn’t been able to open the car door, he would have raped me in the car or driven me to a guesthouse. I was panicking and I was afraid that he would shoot me,” she said.

She has demanded compensation of $100,000 for attempted rape with aggravating circumstances and another $10,000 for legal services.

Ky Tech, Hun Sen’s chief volunteer lawyer, confirmed to The Post that his team was investigating these cases first before deciding whether to provide legal aid to Pich Rita.

Pon Putborei, director of legal aid at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said the ministry had sought support from the National Police to investigate the case further. The ministry will also provide legal aid to Pich Rita.

“There are two complaints and we don’t know the truth yet,” Putborei said.

Neither Sear nor Pich Rita could be reached for comment.

The public reaction to these allegations has varied, but many artists and other women generally are voicing their support for Pich Rita and initiating a campaign online to stop violence against women.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Kim Santepheap said it was too early to draw a conclusion, saying the ministry is keeping an eye on the case and called for the public to remain calm.

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