The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the sentencing of a 24-year-old man jailed for three years for molesting his four-year-old niece in Kampong Speu province.
Presiding Judge Pol Sam Oeun identified him as Ing Sokleap, 24, a construction worker from Chbar Mon commune in the province’s Chbar Mon city.
Judge Sam Oeun said Mr Sokleap was charged with indecent assault after he was arrested by the provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department in Kampong Speu province on May 20 last year.
He noted that Kampong Speu Provincial Court on December 24 convicted Mr Sokleap and sentenced him to three years in jail, adding that the court also ordered him to pay about $1,000 to put into the state budget.
However, the court prosecutor did not agree with the ruling and appealed to the Appeal Court to change Mr Sokleap’s charge to rape with aggravating circumstance and punish him with a heavier sentence, which could see him in jail between seven to 15 years.
“Due to the trial and the accused’s answers during the trial, the council of judges at the Appeal Court understands that the decision made by Kampong Speu Provincial Court was right and was made in accordance with laws,” Judge Sam Oeun said.
“Therefore, the Appeal Court has decided to uphold it as effective,” he said.
Judge Sam Oeun noted that Mr Sokleap was married and has three sons with his wife, who is a garment worker. They all lived in Chbar Mon commune.
Judge Sam Oeun said that at about 2pm on May 19 last year, Mr Sokleap persuaded his four-year-old niece, who lived nearby, to come to his house and play with his kids.
“But when the victim was sitting and playing with his kids inside the house, Mr Sokleap molested her,” Judge Sam Oeun said, adding that he also injured her genital area with a hard object.