A 27-year-old man in Kompong Thom province escaped from Santuk district police custody on Saturday night after he was arrested the same day for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, police said.
Yean Tuok, who had been detained at the district police station, escaped by unknown means, said Kao Sophall, provincial anti-human trafficking police chief.
“He managed to run last night…. We are searching for how he escaped,” Mr Sophall said.
Mr Tuok confessed to raping the girl after he was arrested at the scene of the crime in Kraya commune, according to commune police chief Cha Sokhorn. “We arrested him red-handed after her father came to the police post to inform us,” Mr Sokhorn said.
Police have received three other complaints regarding Mr Tuok, who allegedly raped four girls between the ages of 10 and 14 in Kraya commune since 2008, he added, noting that the suspect denied these accusations.
Commune chief Keo Chheng said local residents were scared to let their children leave home because of the string of rapes.
“The families with only daughters are scared to send their daughters to mind cattle but they have no one to do it,” Mr Chheng said.
In a separate case, Kandal Provincial Court on Wednesday charged two men with the alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman in Koh Thom district’s Chhoeu Khmao commune. The victim’s boyfriend Ngorn Chanda, 19, and Seng Tonheng, 23, allegedly raped the victim in a field on Tuesday evening, anti-human trafficking police chief Ros Savin said.
The suspects “planned and joined together to commit illegal acts on the victim,” Mr Savin said.
Koh Thom district police chief Phorn Saroun said that the victim’s father filed a complaint with police, who arrested the men several hours after the alleged rape.
During the first half of the year, the human rights group Adhoc recorded 249 rape cases, including 167 child rapes. Since June, The Cambodia Daily has reported on an additional 20 child rapes.