The Court of Appeal on Monday heard the case of a man sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping a young girl in Svay Rieng commune, Svay Rieng province last year.
Presiding Judge Yon Narong read the Svay Rieng Provincial Court’s original report which said on April 15, last year, at 8pm in Svay Rieng district’s Me Phloeung village, 19-year-old Thun Thav took a 13-year-old girl into the men’s restroom at the Svay Rieng provincial cinema.
He then closed the door and raped her in the restroom. After the incident, the victim told her father, Som Sokchea, and he filed a complaint with the police to arrest Thav.
The provincial court announced its verdict on October 31, last year, and sentenced Thav to 10 years in prison.
Thav told the judge in the appeal court on Monday that he was a balloon seller. He said he saw the victim enter the restroom on the day of the incident and admitted to raping her once.
Judge Narong reminded Thav that in his earlier confession, he admitted to raping her five times.
Thav said: “At that time I was scared and just answered it. I raped the girl only one time. I request that the court reduce my sentence.”
Prosecutor Tan Senarong said that after following the facts and listening to Thav’s version of events in the courtroom, it was clear that Thav had raped the victim as in his original confession.
Im Mach, Thav’s defence lawyer, said his client did not commit the crime as stated by the provincial court report. He said Thav did touch the victim’s genital area with his penis, but he stopped short of penetration.
He said accusing his client of rape was unfair because according to medical examinations performed by three doctors, there were no scars or cuts in the victim’s genital area.
The victim’s family has also withdrawn their complaint. Mach told the judge: “I request the Court of Appeal to drop the charges and release my client.”
Judge Narong said he will announce his verdict on July 14.