A woman on Tuesday asked the Appeal Court to reduce her six-year prison sentence that was handed down in 2016 for running a brothel from her Phnom Penh massage parlour.
Lem Nai Orn, 38, was the owner of the 999 massage parlour in Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune. The property was raided by anti-human trafficking authorities in November 2015.
Five people were arrested in the raid, the police report said, but four were released, leaving only Nai Orn facing charges. Police said they found a number of used and unused condoms at the address.
Nai Orn said she had only operated a massage parlour and did not provide sex services.
She said her employees secretly offered such services, giving her 10,000 riel ($2.50) from each client as a fee. The women sometimes took clients off the premises.
In March 2016, the Phnom Penh Municipal court found Nai Orn guilty of the procurement of prostitution with aggravating circumstances according to Article 27 of Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation and Article 288 of the Criminal Code.
“I filed the complaint with the Appeal Court to ask for my sentence to be lowered. I have three children who cannot go to school. I also have to take care of my elderly mother. I know I was wrong,” Lem told the Appeal Court judges.
But prosecutor Chum Sensathea asked the court to uphold the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. “Regarding her plea to lower her sentence, the court will decide based on legal procedure,” he said.
Defence lawyer Ly Vireak told The Post on Tuesday that employees at the massage parlour had offered sexual services themselves and his client was not involved.
“My client has small children and an elderly mother to take care of. I asked the court to lower the sentence,” Virak said.
Presiding Judge Chan Madina is due to deliver his verdict on January 28.