A high school physics teacher in Kompong Thom province was charged on Wednesday with aggravated rape after sexually assaulting his 12-year-old neighbor several times last week, officials said.
Deputy provincial police chief Ke Khannara identified the suspect as Srey Khim, 64. Mr. Khim is a teacher at Balang High School and was arrested on Tuesday at his home in Stung Sen City after the girl’s mother filed a complaint with the police.
The high incidence of rape in Cambodia is well-documented, and has only been getting worse, according to officials and organizations working to protect women and children.
Reported rape cases increased by 12 percent last year compared to 2014, according to the Interior Ministry.
Rights group Adhoc, which carries out the widest-reaching work on the issue among nongovernment groups, recorded 238 rape cases last year, an 18 percent increase on 2014.
More than 75 percent of those cases were minors.
In the latest case in Kompong Thom, the teacher confessed to raping the girl on four days last week after her parents left for work in the morning, giving her between 3,000 and 5,000 riel, or about $0.75 to $1.25, each time, Mr. Khannara said.
“He threatened her not to talk about it,” he said.
The girl’s mother learned of the assault when her daughter asked her on Monday for money to buy medicine after she experienced swelling, bruising and pain, Mr. Khannara said.
At first, the girl’s mother didn’t want to file a complaint against Mr. Khim, fearing reprisals as a result of Mr. Khim’s social standing in the community, he said.
“She thought that because she is poor, no one could find justice for her,” the deputy police chief said.
Court spokesman Say Nora said on Wednesday that Mr. Khim was being held at the provincial prison while awaiting trial.
Aggravated rape carries a sentence of seven to 15 years in prison.
In a separate case, a 19-year-old man was sent on Wednesday to Battambang provincial prison after he was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to police.
Muot Saviet of Battambang City was arrested on Tuesday morning after the girl’s parents filed a complaint against him, deputy Sangke district police chief Mour Lan said.
Under questioning, Mr. Saviet admitted to having sex with the girl three times while spending two days at a friend’s house in Tuol Ta Ek commune, Mr. Lan said. The girl’s parents filed the complaint after she returned home on Monday.
“She looked like she was drugged so her mother asked her where she came from. She said that man took her to sleep with him,” Mr. Lan said.
Mr. Saviet was charged with having sex with a minor under the age of 15, which is a crime punishable by five to 10 years in prison.