A former children’s NGO worker was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping four young girls in Pursat province, one of whom was around 6 years old when the attacks started, officials said Tuesday.
Pursat Provincial Court Judge Son Neatheavy said that Oeu Yoeum, 55, was also ordered at his trial Thursday to pay $1,500 in compensation to his four victims, now aged between 8 and 13.
Oeu Yoeum was arrested and confessed in May 2006, after mothers of the girls complained to police, said Sy Kiry, deputy provincial police chief. The oldest of the girls, who is now 13, said Oeu Yoeum began raping her in 2000, Sy Kiry added.
Ven Lonn, provincial monitor with local rights group Licadho, said that Oeu Yoeum was a part-time employee at the Light of Children aid organization in Talou commune’s Tuol Thmar village located in Bakan district, where he and all four girls lived.
“He was a friendly guy in the village, so villagers liked and trusted him,” Ven Lonn said. “He threatened the girls not to tell their parents, otherwise they would be killed,” he said, adding that Oeu Yoeum raped the children repeatedly, often in their houses or at his own.
Contact details for the Light of Children organization were unavailable Tuesday.
Ven Lonn added that the girls are currently receiving care from a reputable aid organization in Phnom Penh.