Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a 33-year-old clothes vendor for abusing her former underage maid.
Deputy prosecutor Srey Markny identified the accused as Meng Rath Pisey, a clothes vendor from Chom Chao II commune, in court documents obtained by the Khmer Times.
The documents show that Mr Markny charged the accused with intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstances, charges that can land her in prison for up to five years if found guilty.
Major Chey Sovann, deputy chief of Por Senchey district police, said yesterday that the accused was sent to Prey Sar prison pending her trial.
Maj Sovann said that Ms Pisey employed the 16-year-old victim from a poor family in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district in 2014.
He said that over the course of four years, Ms Pisey often beat and tortured the victim and forced her to work day and night.
“Evidence shows scars from previous wounds on the victim’s legs, hands and face,” he said.
He said that Ms Pisey was arrested on Sunday after a report was filed by her neighbours who had witnessed the abuse.
Police then raided her house and placed the victim in protective care; the victim later filed charges against her former employer.
Von Samphous, president of Cambodian Domestic Workers Network, said that her organisation will work with the authorities to seek justice for the victim and her family.
“In this case, I welcome the court’s action and the charges brought against the accused,” Ms Samphous said. “And the accused should be strongly punished so she cannot commit this crime again to other girls in the future.”
According to the victim, she was employed by the accused since she was 12-years-old. She said that she was promised $60 per month, but her former employer never paid her full salary.
“I have only received $100,” she said. “At the time, my father was sick so I sent what I had back to my home province to buy medicine for him.”
The victim said that her daily routine included cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, babysitting and working at Ms Pisey’s shop.
“For as long as I can remember working for her, she always beat me and tortured me every single day,” the victim said. “I worked very hard for her but nothing pleased her. She blamed me, cursed at me and looked at me as a slave.”