The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday tried a man charged with raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter.
The suspect, 33, was charged with aggravated rape, according to presiding Judge Meng Tony.
Due to the victim’s age, the hearing was closed-door.
After the hearing, the accused man told re*porters that he had “touched” his step-daughter but denied he had raped her.
“I reject the charge of rape,” he said.
The victim’s mother said she was unsure whether to believe her husband had raped her child, as she was not there when the crime allegedly took place.
“My first husband died when our daughter was 8 years old, at which point my late husband’s mother asked that I send her grandchild to live with her,” she said, adding that her second husband had intervened and asked to keep the child with them.
The child’s grandmother filed the complaint against the suspect, she said.
“My former mother-in-law accused my new husband of rape after they argued over whether the grandmother could adopt her,” the girl’s mother said.
The suspect could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
A verdict is due February 17.
© 2014, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.