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Rape charges denied by suspect, alleged victim

Rape charges denied by suspect, alleged victim

A 43-year-old construction worker yesterday went on trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over allegations that he forcibly raped his 17-year-old disabled niece – a charge that both he and the alleged victim disputed.

According to deputy prosecutor Seu Vandy, the victim had gone to the house of her uncle, Hem Sakhorn, on May 13, to ask for $2 when he allegedly put a pillow over her mouth and raped her.

However, Sakhorn denied the charges against him yesterday, as did his niece. “I stayed with him in his room, but he did not rape me,” the alleged victim said.

Her elder sister, Nguyen Dalin, who originally sued Sakhorn for the alleged assault, testified that the victim could not remember the day of the alleged rape due to a disability that has affected her since childhood.

Dalin has since dropped her lawsuit, but the criminal case against Sakhorn is still pending. A verdict is due on December 30.

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