Presiding Judge Kim Sathavy said the court reversed the charge from rape to attempted rape but upheld the seven year sentence.
“The suspect was charged with rape by the provincial court [in 2014]. The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Appeal Court’s verdict issued in July 2015 but the charge has been changed to attempted rape,” she said.
According to police report, Hem Hai was arrested for raping a seven-year-old girl from the same village in the province’s Kampong Leng district in 2013. Besides the jail term, Hai was also ordered to pay compensation of 4 million riel ($1,000) to the victim.
Hai maintained his innocence during his Supreme Court trial on January 16.
“The girl came to my house to watch TV with my grandchildren and then returned home about 100m away. I didn’t rape her,” he said.