Battambang Teen Jailed for Raping 9-Year-Old Neighbor

A 19-year-old man was charged with aggravated rape in Battambang province on Thursday after forcing himself on his 9-year-old neighbor the day before, officials said.

The girl was playing alone near her family’s home in Bavel district on Wednesday afternoon when Sy Lai approached her and lured her into a house whose owners were out tending their rice field, according to police.

“He raped her in a house in the village after the owners went to the rice field,” said district police chief Oeun Tith. “The suspect and the victim knew each other because they live in the same village.”

Mr. Lai was arrested later on Wednesday after the girl’s mother contacted authorities and identified him as her daughter’s attacker.

He later confessed to raping the child while under questioning at the commune police station, Mr. Tith said.

He was held overnight at the provincial police headquarters and sent to the Battambang Provincial Court on Thursday, he added.

Court spokesman Touch Sopheakdey said Investigating Judge Yic Cheanavy charged Mr. Lai with aggravated rape on Thursday afternoon and remanded him to provisional detention at the provincial prison.

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