The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the 19-year prison sentence of Neth Khay, the former abbot infamous for secretly filming naked women pouring holy water over themselves at his pagoda.
Khay, 40, has admitted his guilt, but requested that the Appeal Court commute his 2010 sentence from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
“The court cannot commute his sentence,” said Pol Samoeun, presiding judge at the Appeal Court. “This case has a serious impact on the public.”
Neth Khay was abbot of Srah Chak pagoda in the capital’s Daun Penh district until 2010, when police arrested him after receiving complaints from victims who had learned that Khay was sharing naked images of them.
Authorities say Khay distributed more than 600 photos and videos of “several” naked women in 2008 and 2009.
Neth Khay, who also was fined 40 million riel ($10,000) and asked to pay victims a total of 180 million riel in compensation, was not present at the hearing yesterday and could not be reached for comment.