The Banteay Meanchey Provin-cial Court charged a 43-year-old man on Monday for allegedly raping two 6-year-old girls in Serei Saophoan, police and a court official said Tuesday.
Lon Lan was arrested Saturday by military police after they re-ceived a complaint from one of the victims’ families in Preah Ponlea village, said provincial military police commander Rath Srieng.
On Friday morning, Lon Lan allegedly convinced the two girls, who are cousins, to ride on his bi-cycle to the banks of the Preah Ponlea river, about 500 meters from the village. There, he allegedly bound their hands, raped them, and threatened to kill them if they told anyone about what happened to them, Rath Srieng said.
“We have done examinations of the victims, and it seems they were raped,” he said, adding that local authorities are now looking for other potential victims.
“We suspect that the suspect might have committed rapes of other children in the past, because some witnesses told us that they have seen the man mostly hang around children,” he said.
Lon Lan is being held in pretrial detention at the provincial prison, said Deputy Provincial Prosecutor Ton Sihadeg. If convicted, he could spend up to 30 years in prison on the two counts of rape of a minor, the prosecutor added.
Ton Sihadeg has seen about sev-en cases of child rape since he took his position in the province in early 2008, he said.
“Most rape cases were committed by a neighbor of the victim, whom the parents paid less attention to,” he added.
An Adhoc investigator in charge of women’s affairs, Prak Sophima, said she had interviewed the victims at their homes.
“It has had an impact on the victims’ feelings. It has made them shy, scared and afraid to go to school,” she said.
This is the second rape case in the province since the start of the year she added. On Jan 4, a 20-month-old girl in Mongkol Borei district was raped by a relative, who is still at large.