Border Police Officer Charged With Rape

A border police officer was charged Wednesday with rape under aggravating circumstances for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl whom he held captive for 24 hours.

Provincial prosecutor Koy Kanya said Leng Sarann, 36, a border police officer at Phnom Tbal border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province, is now being held in pretrial detention.

Pheng Phuot, Trapaing Tav commune police chief, said the victim and Mr. Sarann first met almost two months ago at a restaurant, where he offered her employment at a plantation he owned.

On Saturday, Mr. Sarann offered to drive her home following a party at the plantation.

“The victim agreed because she did not expect the suspect to do this to her,” said Mr. Phuot, adding that Mr. Sarann instead drove the girl to his police station and pushed her inside.

“The suspect punched the victim…until she lost consciousness and then the suspect raped her,” Mr. Phuot said. “The suspect also threatened to kill her if she didn’t agree.”

Mr. Phuot said after the girl was allowed to leave, she informed her family of what happened and her parents informed police.

“We found some bruises on her thighs and arms and her eyes were swollen,” said Mr. Phuot, noting the Mr. Sarann was then called in for questioning at the district police office.

“The suspect admitted that he loved the girl and wanted her to be his wife,” Mr. Phuot said.

Lim Ky, deputy provincial judicial police chief, said Mr. Sarann, as a police officer, should have known better.

“He is the law-enforcement official and understands about the law but he still violated the law so we have to punish him according to the law,” he said.

Leok Sokha, deputy provincial police chief, echoed Mr. Ky’s position.

“No matter who you are, ordinary people, civil servants or law-enforcement officers, when you break the law, you have to be punished according to the law. All are equal before the law.”

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