The Appeal Court yesterday upheld the sentencing of a man jailed for five years for raping a woman in Kampong Chhnang province in 2016.
Presiding Judge Chan Marina identified him as Say So, a 43-year-old land broker from Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Chhnang city. She noted that Mr So has two wives and three children.
The victim was a high school student at the time and living the same city as accused.
Judge Marina said Mr So was charged with rape after he was arrested on November 18, 2016 in Phnom Penh.
She noted that Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 28, 2017, convicted Mr So and sentenced him to five years in jail. The municipal court also ordered him to pay $10,000 in damages to the victim.
“The council of judges at the Appeal Court understands that the accused, Mr So, denies that he knew the victim, or that he raped her or sexually abused her, but he did not have any evidence to prove his innocence in court,” Judge Marina said.
“On the other hand, the victim and her mother identified him as the perpetrator. And the accused sent one of his wives to negotiate a deal with the victim and her mother, promising to pay $6,000 for them to drop the case,” she said.
“Therefore, the council of judges at the Appeal Court has decided to uphold the judgement of Phnom Penh Municipal Court dated on December 28, 2017 as effective,” she added.
Judge Marina noted that at about 7pm on June 9, 2016, Mr So invited Ms Sreymom to the inauguration ceremony of Meas Samnang’s Karaoke Entertainment Shop in Kampong Chhnang city.
She said at the ceremony, Mr So forced Ms Sreymom to drink until she was intoxicated.
At about 10pm, Mr So took Ms Sreymom, who was drunk, to a guesthouse in the city, where he raped her before taking her home at about 11pm.
“When he brought the victim to the guesthouse, the victim refused to enter the room, but he took hold of her and pushed her into the room,” Judge Marina said. “After pushing her inside, he pushed her onto the bed. He held her down and raped her.”
She said that when the victim arrived home, she told her mother about the rape. On the next day, the mother filed a complaint against Mr So to the provincial penal police, leading to his arrest on November 18, 2016 and eventual sentencing by the municipal court.
However, Mr So did not agree with the ruling and appealed it to the Appeal Court.
Mr So said yesterday that the judgement of the Appeal Court was unjust because he did not rape the victim.
He said he was at home with his second wife on the night of the incident.
“It was unjust,” Mr So said. “I do not agree with the Appeal Court’s decision. I will appeal to the Supreme Court.”
“I am innocent,” he added.