Four Arrested in Years-Old Child Rape Case

Kompong Thom police arrested four people on Sunday in connection with raping a minor several times over the course of her employment at a pig slaughterhouse in 2014 and 2015.

“The girl worked at the butcher for six months,” during which time its owner and two of its employees repeatedly raped her, said Khoem Vando, deputy director of anti-pedophile NGO APLE, which was approached by the victim in 2015 and assisted in filing a complaint with the provincial court.

According to a statement from the NGO, the victim traveled to Phnom Penh from Kompong Thom’s Baray district in October 2015 seeking intervention. “Three suspects raped her many times and threatened her, telling her not to tell others.”

In the course of her employment, the statement said, she was impregnated and later gave birth to a child. Mr. Vando said he was unsure of the gender of the baby.

While six individuals were charged last month with either raping a minor or being an accomplice to the crime, only four were caught and arrested. The four caught were the owner of the slaughterhouse, his wife, and two of their employees, aged 19 and 22.

The remaining two are still being sought.

Meanwhile, details of the crime—how it occurred, and why investigations have taken months to proceed—remained sparse on Sunday, with officials unable to offer any details about the case.

Srey Chansina, deputy district police chief, said the bureau was in disarray. “I have just received this position. Many police have been reshuffled.”

Klot Noy, the chief of the provincial police’s anti-trafficking department who received the arrest warrant from the provincial court, said: “I don’t know the details, but I just followed the court’s [arrest] warrant.”

APLE’s report said that “since 2015, the victim has received legal and social services, a safe place and other necessary support.”

“Investigation takes time,” Mr. Vando said.

The four are in provincial prison awaiting trial, police said.

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