Prison Sentence Upheld in Virginity Purchase Case

The Appeal Court on Friday upheld a nine-year prison for a Turkish man convicted of purchasing the virginity of two 14-years-old girls in Phnom Penh in 2014.

Aydin Goktepe, a 53-year-old mechanic, had been found guilty of having sex with the two girls at a guesthouse near Wat Phnom in Daun Penh district. Police at the time said they had been following him for more than a month after receiving a tip that he was seeking young virgins and arrested him as he prepared to leave for Thailand.

Mr. Goktepe’s lawyer, Peung Yuk Hiep, had argued that there was insufficient evidence to convict her client as authorities had no photo of him having sex with the girls and contradictory testimony about the payments he made.

“It’s an injustice for him,” she said. “Previously the mothers claimed they never received any money from their kids.”

Back in 2014, police said the mother of one of the victims was arrested for having sold her daughter to the Turkish national, while a second Cambodian woman was arrested for her role in brokering the deal. They had each been sentenced to three years for child prostitution.

In upholding the verdict on Friday, Presiding Judge Yun Narong said the verdict and sentence in the case were appropriate for the crime.

Mr. Goktepe also had been ordered to pay compensation of  $1,500 to one victim and about $1,000 to the second.

After the arrests, the two girls were said to have been cared for by World Hope, an anti-trafficking NGO.

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