5-Yr-Old Raped in B’bang; 2 Suspects Arrested

A 5-year-old girl was raped in Bat­tambang province Sunday and two teenage boys were arrested pending an investigation of the case, au­thorities said yesterday.

The detainees, aged 16 and 17, are suspected of raping the girl in Rokha Kiri district’s Prey Tralach commune, where they tend cattle, said Ornkry Saomundul, chief of the provincial military police investigation and justice office.

The girl had gone into a forest to urinate when the teenagers left their herd, followed her and at­tacked, he said.

“Both confessed to raping her in the forest when she was alone,” said Mr Saomundul, adding that the child’s mother reported the crime later that day and the suspects were then arrested.

Deputy provincial police chief Long Hokmeng said he had forwarded the case for investigation but declined to comment on any possible charges.

“Now the judge is working on the investigation,” he said.

Koy Heang, provincial anti-hu­man-trafficking police chief, said re­ports of rapes were up this year compared to 2009, though he did not offer statistics. “Rape cases have been noted as increasing,” he said.

He said his officers routinely tra­vel through the province informing people of the human trafficking law and explaining the dangers that await children who are not watched by their parents.

Krouch Chanpov, a provincial monitor for rights group Ad­hoc, said she recorded at least two or three rape cases a month, though she be­lieved more went unreported.

She called on authorities to prosecute rapes and not to allow suspects to pay compensation in re­turn for charges being dropped. Such deals reduce the deterrents for rapes, she said.

“Compromising on rape cases sidesteps the duty to eliminate rape cases,” she said.


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