The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to uphold the Appeal Court’s verdict in sentencing a man to 23 years in prison over a 2016 rape-murder case involving a 10-year-old girl in Svay Anthor district’s Popeus commune in Prey Veng province.
Presiding Judge Kim Sathavy read the verdict in the absence of Try Kimchheang – the convict. The victim’s parents were present.
“Upon careful review of the court hearing on April 24, 2019, the [Supreme Court] has decided to uphold the Appeal Court’s decision”, he said.
Speaking to The Post outside the courtroom, Proem Sovann – the victim’s father – said he was not satisfied with the sentence. He expected a life sentence for Kimchheang, a consequence the former deemed suitable for the crime that the latter had committed.
“If your child whom you loved so dearly was killed, how would you feel as a parent? I pity my daughter so much . . . I think all parents would feel the same way as I do,” he said.
Despite his dissatisfaction, Sovann said he could accept the Supreme Court’s verdict in upholding the lower court’s ruling.
The court report dated June 7, 2016, stated that then-30-year-old Kimchheang had allegedly lured the victim away from her younger sister by asking her to help him forage for honey.
At the time, their father had left them at the rice field, 3km from their village, because he needed to go somewhere else.
Later in the afternoon, the father arrived home and saw only his younger daughter who told him that the victim had gone with Kimchheang.
The father went searching for the victim after waiting too long for her return but to no avail. He then reported to the commune police station.
Police carried out a search for the girl until they found her partially undressed and with a fractured neck in the bushes 200m from where she was last seen with Kimchheang.
The convict was detained not long after, the report read.