The Supreme Court yesterday heard the case of a mother-and-daughter duo sentenced to between three and seven years in prison for the sex trafficking of a minor in 2018.
Supreme Court Presiding Judge Saly Theara identified the convicts as Yim Sreyti, 36, a laundry worker and her daughter as a 15-year-old Grade 7 student. The victim was a friend of the daughter and was only 14 years old at the time of the crime.
They were convicted of “procurement with regard to child prostitution” under Articles 25 and 28 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation.
At yesterday’s hearing, Sreyti and her daughter denied the allegations, saying the victim consented to selling sex for a living. Sreyti claimed ignorance to the victim’s involvement in the sex trade, saying she only knew about it after their arrest.
“I did not commit any of the acts I have been convicted of by the lower courts. I ask the Supreme Court to seek the truth and release me,” said Sreyti.
Meanwhile, the daughter told the court yesterday that she got acquainted with the victim in 2016 via Facebook. She said the victim often talked to her about her family’s problems.
“The victim told me that she did not want to depend on her mother because she just got married to another man who always beat her up. She said she wanted to make money so she could support herself and asked me to find wealthy men who would willingly procure sex from her.” Sreyti’s daughter said.
In a complaint filed with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2018, the victim claimed that Sreyti and her daughter on July 15, 2018, persuaded her to have sex with a 50-year-old Cambodian man, at the price of $150 for two hours, at a guesthouse in Stung Meanchey commune. The duo was said to have docked $50 as commission.
The incident was followed on August 16 when the pair brought the victim to a hotel in Daun Penh district where she had sex with a Chinese man for $200.
“The client gave them $100 for arranging the affair. The victim later gave them their $30 commission,” said Judge Theara yesterday as he read out the court documents.
After the incident, the victim was said to have not returned home for several days, prompting her mother to file a report to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Headquarters.
The victim was found six days later at the residence of the pair, after which she revealed the ongoing sex procurement.
Sreyti and her daughter were arrested the following day.
On February 27 last year, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Sreyti to seven years in prison and her daughter to three years and six months. They later forwarded their case to the Appeal Court, which upheld the Municipal Court’s ruling on September 23.
A verdict will be handed down on July 27.
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