Ratanakkiri Provincial Court on Wednesday charged a 14-year-old student with allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl the teenager in O’Yadaw district, officials said yesterday, as rights group Adhoc reported that child victims made up two-thirds of the 300 rapes it had counted in the first seven months this year.
The suspect was arrested while raping the young child in a car parked outside a snooker hall in Paknhai commune’s Pak village, provincial police chief Ray Rai said. “While the girl was being raped, a local cop drove up and witnessed the attack as he was about to park his car,” Mr Rai said.
The suspect’s 9-year-old brother was briefly detained for allegedly restraining the victim during the rape but released due to his age, he said, noting that the victim had been hospitalized with injuries incurred in the attack.
In a separate case, police in Kratie province are searching for four men who allegedly gang raped a 25-year-old woman on Tuesday evening in a paddy field in Kratie City, police said.
The men were walking the victim home from a food stall in O’Russei commune when they took turns raping her, said Keo Srey Sey, provincial anti-human trafficking police bureau chief.
“The victim said she did not scream while she was being raped because she was afraid they would kill her,” Mr Srey Sey said. “The four suspects fled the day that police authorities chased them from along the way to the paddy field.”
In another case, questioning of an 11-year-old mentally disabled rape victim continues after Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Aug 18 released a police officer arrested for the crime, provincial prosecutor Bou Bunhang said.
Adhoc recorded 300 rapes, including 195 child rapes in the first seven months of the year. During the same period last year, rights group Licadho recorded 194 rapes, including 141 child rapes across 14 provinces. Since the start of August the Daily has reported on 12 rapes and 8 child rapes.
Statistics on rape do not give the full picture because many women are scared to file police complaints while attempts to break the silence may have increased reporting, Licadho president Pung Chhiv Kek said by e-mail.
“Despite no official statistics, we have more and more cases every year,” she added. “[R]egarding possible increase of child rapes, we don’t know. But we believe the trend is, at least, not going down.”
(Additional reporting by Alice Foster and Phorn Bopha)