In Separate Cases, Courts Charge Two Men With Raping Minors

Two different provincial courts on Tuesday charged two men in separate cases with raping minors, officials said.

In Kompong Thom, Sorn Pe was charged with raping a 7-year-old girl, while in Banteay Mean­chey, the court charged 20-year-old Soeun Ra with the rape of a 5-year-old girl in Poipet City, military police said.

Mr. Pe is accused of abducting the 7-year-old girl on Saturday at around 8 p.m. while she was sleeping next to her grandmother and sisters. He bundled her up in a blanket and took her to a rice field about 400 meters away, where he raped her.

“He was charged with aggravated rape because he raped an underage girl,” Kompong Thom provincial prosecutor Pen Sarat said Tuesday.

“He did not confess to raping her. He said that he simply touched her. Nevertheless, we have enough evidence,” he added.

After she was raped, the victim’s family immediately informed police. Police then witnessed Mr. Pe dumping the 7-year-old about 30 meters from her house, before returning to his own home.

The girl was hospitalized but was discharged Tuesday afternoon, hospital staff confirmed.

In the Banteay Meanchey case, Poipet City military police commander Horm Mut said the victim was raped on Saturday by her next-door neighbor Soeun Ra at his home after her parents had left to go to work. “He was sent to the court on accusations of raping a 5-year-old girl,” said Mr. Mut.

Lim Mony, deputy chief of Adhoc’s women and children program, said Tuesday that while the two latest cases to be reported had resulted in the perpetrators being arrested and charged, many other cases across the country go unpunished.

“Most reported rape cases involve girls underage…and the court either releases the suspects, changes the charges or reduces the sentence,” she said.

The Cambodia Daily has reported eleven cases of child rape this year, with one victim also murdered by the perpetrator in a pagoda in Prey Veng. The youngest victim was just 2-years-old.

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