Battambang Provincial Court on Saturday charged a 30-year-old former border police officer with rape for allegedly holding a 21-year-old woman prisoner for three days and raping her in Sampov Loun district’s Serei Meanchey commune, police and court officials said Monday.
District police chief Pech Saren said his officers arrested Mut Doeurn on Saturday, the same day the victim filed her complaint.
According to Mr Saren, the woman claimed she was walking home alone at around 4:30 pm on May 4 when Mut Doeurn, a fellow villager, asked her to join him at a police patrol hut to discuss a personal matter. Once there, he added, the woman claims Mut Doeurn raped her twice over a period of three days and threatened to kill her if she tried to escape from the hut.
According to Mr Saren, Mut Doeurn has admitted to having sex with the woman but insisted that it was consensual and that he neither detained the woman against her will nor threatened to kill her.
The suspect, he said, claimed the woman did not want to return home out of shame for staying out overnight.
Provincial court chief clerk Muk Vanna said the court charged Mut Doeurn on Saturday and is holding him in provisional detention at the provincial prison.
Born Vannara, Battambang’s anti-human trafficking deputy police chief, said rape cases in the province have been on the rise.
“Rape cases have been increasing; at least five cases happen per month,” he said.
Krouch Chhanpov, a provincial monitor for rights group Adhoc, said the country’s rape laws were adequate but blamed officials for failing to enforce them.
“Authorities and police have to work harder at their duty,” she said.