A 35-year-old fortune teller was yesterday released from prison by the municipal court due to a lack of evidence over allegations that he raped a 23-year-old-woman.
Thlang Phaneth, presiding judge at Phnom Penh Municipal Court, identified the accused as Phon Sok Eng, 35, a fortune teller living in Kampong Speu province’s Kirivoan commune.
“The court decided to drop the charges and release him from prison,” said judge Phaneth.
“The plaintiff can appeal if she does not accept the court’s judgment.”
Mr Sok Eng was arrested on November 27, 2016, in Phnom Penh.
Yim Chesda, a court clerk, said the court decided to drop the charges and release the accused because he and the victim were lovers who had engaged in consensual sex.
The clerk added that the victim did not appear at the court when summoned three separate times to provide testimony and any evidence for the case.
Tith Sovanny, the 24-year-old victim, could not be reached for comment.
According to a police report compiled after the arrest, the victim met the fortune teller on Facebook in October 2016.
She said that on October 29, 2016, Mr Sok Eng predicted that she had dangerous moles on her breasts.
Mr Sok Eng said that if she did not do a traditional ceremony to eliminate the danger, her moles would lead to the death of her mother.
The two then met at a guesthouse in Phnom Penh, where the fortune teller allegedly raped her after a water blessing ceremony.
“After arriving inside the guesthouse room, he told me to take off my clothes and show him the bad luck moles on my breasts. He then raped me,” she said in the police report.
She said he raped her five or six times in the guesthouse before giving her $10 to travel back home.
Mr Sok Eng denied the allegations and said the sex was consensual.
“I confess I had sex with her many times, but I did not force her,” he said. “She loved me and volunteered to have sex with me.”