Farmworker Charged With Raping 9-Year-Old Girl

A 22-year-old farmworker was charged Sunday with the rape of a 9-year-old girl near a cassava farm in Battambang province’s Samlot district, officials said.

The suspect, Chhorn Chhieng, was arrested on Friday, shortly after he allegedly raped the girl, the daughter of the farm’s owners.

According to Kim Rith, chief of police in Meanchey commune, where the incident occurred, Mr. Chhieng had been hired by the girl’s parents to help harvest their cassava crop, and stopped at the family’s house to ask for directions to the field.

“The girl took the suspect to her parents’ cassava farm after she was asked to by her mother, because the suspect did not know the way to the field,” Mr. Rith said.

“Halfway to the farm, he raped the girl. He hit her with a small stick two times and shoved his shirt in her mouth to prevent her from shouting.”

When the girl returned home, she told her parents what had happened and they called the police, who arrested Mr. Chhieng as he was walking home from the cassava field, he said.

Hoeung Bunthan, deputy prosecutor at the Battambang Provincial Court, said Mr. Chhieng was charged Sunday with raping a minor, but had yet to be questioned by an investigating judge.

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