Judge Sentences Man for Raping Infant in 2002

A man was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison and fined $500 for the rape of an 18-month- old girl in Prey Veng province two years ago, court officials said.                         Uk Karo, 22, did not appear Mon­­day for the trial and sentencing for the rape in September 2002, provincial court Judge Svay Sisarouth said Wednes­day.

On the morning of the rape, the girl’s mother took cows to the rice field, leaving her daughter sleeping alone in their house in Bror Sre village, Boeung Preah com­mune, Ba Phnom district, said Sim Souyoung, president of the Protection of Juvenile Justice NGO and the victim’s lawyer.

When she returned home, the girl’s mother found her daughter, cov­ered in blood, lying on their bed. Nearby, her daughter’s cous­in, Uk Karo, then 19, was also splat­tered in blood, Sim Souyoung said. The girl’s mother reported the case, and Uk Karo, initially, confessed to the attack in front of the village chief. He later escaped when he heard the case would be sent to police, Sim Souyoung said.

Medical reports from district and provincial hospitals revealed the girl had been raped, and the man’s parents initially agreed to $50 compensation, Sim Sou­young said. But the money was never paid, and the case was sent to court, he said.

“The incident happened in 2002, but I just got the complaints and other documents recently, which is why the trial was just held Monday,” Svay Sisarouth said. “Unfortunately, neither the criminal, nor his parents, nor his lawyer was present.”

Lim Mony, chief of the NGO Adhoc’s Women’s Section, said she is seeing an increasing number of cases with younger victims. She could not explain why.

“Rape is increasingly dramatic and becoming worse,” she said Wednesday.


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