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One convicted on rape and abduction charges

One convicted on rape and abduction charges

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday handed down a verdict in the case of two security guards accused of abducting, detaining and raping an 11-year-old girl, finding one guilty, but determining that his alleged accomplice was not, due to a lack of evidence.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy found defendant Norng Vichetr, 46, guilty of the illegal detention of a human being and rape with aggravating circumstances, sentencing him to seven years in prison and ordering him to pay 8 million riel (about $2,000) in compensation to the victim. Co-defendant Chhory Bunthoeun, 35, was acquitted as an accomplice.

Chhim Savin, a deputy village chief and councillor for Phsar Thmey II commune, testified at the pair’s trial that the victim was taken from the restaurant where she worked with her mother to Vichetr’s room. She later escaped and returned to the restaurant to tell her mother.

“She said that she was brought by the two accused men to stay in Norng Vichetr’s rental room in Phsar Thmey II commune. She was forcibly raped by Norng Vichetr and was detained at his rental room for a week,” he said.

A medical examination confirmed that a sexual assault had taken place.

Vichetr could not be reached for comment yesterday, but at his trial last month, he denied raping the girl, maintaining he had brought her to her room because “she had lost her mother and was homeless”.

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