Criminal Law

Appeal Court decreases Brothel Owner Sentence

Date: 29 January 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Phnom Penh Post

Follwing a court hearing on January 15, the Appeal Court on Monday lowered the prison sentence of a woman from six years to five for running a brothel from her Phnom Penh massage parlour.

The convicted woman, Lem Nai Orn, 38, was the owner of the 999 Massage Parlour located in Tuol Sangke village in Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune and was jailed in 2016.

According to the court report, the property was raided by anti-human trafficking authorities in November 2015 on suspicion of offering sexual services. Five people were arrested.

Police said they found a number of used and unused condoms at the address.

Presiding Judge Chan Madina did not specify the reason for reducing Nai Orn’s prison term at the Appeal Court on Monday. The judge said the court was only issuing a verdict, but would not be explaining it.

“Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued a verdict, sentencing her to six years in prison, while the Appeal Court has decided to reduce her sentence by one year, to five years."

“If the suspect disagrees with the court’s verdict, she can appeal to Supreme Court one month after the verdict,” Judge Madina said.

The court report said that after the raid, five people who worked at the massage parlour were detained. However, after further questioning, four of them were released to return home, while one person, the owner, was detained.

Phnom Penh Municipal court heard the case on March 20, 2016.

On March 27, 2016, it issued its verdict, sentencing Nai Orn to six years in prison for aggravated procurement of prostitution according to Article 27 of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, and aggravating circumstances according to Article 288 of the Criminal Code.

At the January 15 Appeal Court hearing, the suspect had told the judge that she wanted the court to lower her sentence because she needed to take care of her three children and her elderly mother.

She told the Appeal Court she knew she was in the wrong.

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