Charges Will Stand against Accused Child Sex Offender

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Hang Vibol arriving at Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Supplied.

The child sexual abuse case against a former director of an orphanage and child-protection NGO director has moved closer to conclusion with the upholding of the charges in Phnom Penh municipal court after the suspect asked for them to be thrown out.
 
The court ruled on the charges against 46-year-old Hang Vibol yesterday, and announced a February 10 date for a verdict against the former director of the Phnom Penh orphanage Our Home and the anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE). 
 
Prosecuting attorney Top Chhunglong requested the judge strongly punish Mr. Vibol with maximum sentences for Mr. Vibol’s alleged sexual abuse of dozens of children inside his center between 2009 and 2014.
 
Eleven victims, including nine boys and two girls, are suing him. Of them, one boy is demanding $2,000 in compensation.
 
Mr. Chhunglong said Mr. Vibol had been committing sexual abuse against both boys and girls in Our Home for years. He was arrested in March of 2015. 
 “According to the hearing, all victims have testified that Hang Vibol had really committed sexual abuses on them,” Mr. Chhunlong said after the end of the hearing yesterday.
 
“His offenses are very serious for children and he should not be considered for pardoning. Therefore, I would request the judge to strongly sentence him with maximum sentences,” he added.  
 
 “He asked boys to do massages for him inside his room in his organization’s center,” he said. His sexual offenses included the touching of genitals, and oral and anal sex. Besides this, he also sexually abused his two adopted daughters, one age five and another one age seven. 
 
 Kim Ratanarin, Judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, said that Mr. Vibol was charged with “indecent acts against a minor under fifteen years with aggravating circumstances,” under article 248 of the penal code. 
 
 APLE Cambodia attorney and victims’ defense lawyer San Sony said that she asked the court to add one more new charge to Mr. Virbol’s list, that of “purchasing of child prostitution” under article 43 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.  
 
 During the trial, Mr. Vibol vehemently denied the charges against him, saying the accusations were part of a plot to destroy his reputation by former staff members. He has requested the court to drop charges against him and release him. 
 
 “I absolutely deny that I sexually abused the children in my center,” he said. He said that the victims who had sued him were prepared by former staff members who he had been in arguments with.
 
 Mr. Vibol’s defense lawyer Suy Sokhon said that according to Mr. Vibol, those who prepared the plot were Jean Marie Anno and Thierry Darnaudet, both French nationals who worked with Mr. Virbol at APLE. Mr. Vibol further accused the two men of embezzling APLE donor money and preparing false reports. The two were allegedly angry with Mr. Vibol. 
 
 According to the police report, Mr. Vibol’s arrest came as a result of a joint operation by APLE Cambodia and the Ministry of Social Affairs, and was based on victims’ complaints which had been filed with the to Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit. According to the victims’ answers, Mr. Vibol frequently asked the children living inside his center to enter his room, and he ordered them to “play his with his genitals.”

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