On August 11, Takeo Provincial Court sentenced a 24-year-old Cambodian man in absentia to 5 years in jail for committing unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl and ordered him to pay 4,000,000 Riel or 1,000 US$ compensation to his victim. The court also ordered the man to be arrested and imprisoned.
According to the complaint, the young man got to know his victim through Facebook and later on became online friends. He started to chat with the girl, groomed her with nice words, and constantly lured her to come out and meet in person. Initially, the girl rejected a meet up; however, after many attempts from the man, she finally agreed to see him offline where she was again groomed for sexual purposes. Following the second encounter, the man sexually abused her on multiple occasions when they met.
After knowing that the victim’s family reported to the police, the man escaped from his whereabouts. However, Takeo’s Bati district police sent the case to the provincial court which led to him being charged with Sexual Intercourse with Minor under Fifteen Years, Article 42 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. On August 4, 2022, the man was tried in absentia and found guilty for his charge.
The victim’s family sought APLE’s psychological and legal services for the girl as she was going through the court proceedings. She was accompanied and legally represented in court by APLE’s lawyer. Speaking at the end of the trial, the mother said to be pleased with the court’s judgment and urged the authorities to arrest the abuser.
Mr. Un Chanthul, victim’s attorney from APLE, calls for the immediate arrest of the perpetrator to serve his sentence, adding that strict law enforcement measures are necessary to fight sexual offences against minors.