Healer Charged With Sexually Assaulting Boys

A traditional healer in Kompong Cham specializing in love potions was charged Sunday with sexually assaulting nine teenage boys who came to him seeking spells and charms to attract girls, police and court officials said.

The suspect, Ly Vanny, 33, was arrested on Thursday after two local families in Prey Chhor district’s Trapaing Preah commune filed complaints with police accusing him of raping their sons, aged 14 and 17, said district deputy police chief Suon Ros.

“After we got these two files, seven additional teenagers claimed that they were indecently assaulted by this love healer too,” he said. “The suspect persuaded the victims to engage in sexual activity by promising to give them love magic and giving them between 5,000 and 20,000 riel per encounter.”

The 17-year-old told his family that his initial encounter with the healer in October had been consensual, as he had agreed to have sex in exchange for money and love potions. However, he said that later Mr. Vanny had raped him. The teenager’s family complained to police after he sustained an injury to the genitals that required hospital treatment last week.

After his arrest, Mr. Vanny admitted to having had sex with nine boys, Mr. Ros said.

Thol Meng, provincial deputy police chief for human trafficking, said the suspect was charged Sunday with indecent assault against the nine teenagers

“The suspect admitted that he had lured these teens to indecently assault them,” Mr. Meng said.

He added that Mr. Vanny was sent to the provincial prison on Sunday for pretrial detention.

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