Knife-Wielding Man Attacks Couple in B’bang

Police in Battambang province arrested a 22-year-old man Wed­nes­day evening for the attempted rape of an Australian woman and the attempted murder of her French boyfriend, police said Thursday.

After a night of drinking, Kun Sopheak broke into and hid in the 26-year-old woman’s house in Svay Por commune, planning to rape the NGO worker because he had seen her earlier wearing “sexy clothing,” Battambang district police chief Thuch Ra said by telephone Thursday.

“In his pocket, the suspect had a condom that he prepared to use when he could rape the victim,” Thuch Ra said.

He added that during questioning, Kun Sopheak told po­lice that he thought the woman lived alone and was surprised when she re­turned home with her 34-year-old French boyfriend.

Kun Sopheak confessed that after growing impatient while hiding in the woman’s house, he emerged from his hiding place, threatened the Frenchman with a knife and attempted unsuccessfully to tie him up so that he could then proceed with the rape, Thuch Ra said.

The boyfriend disarmed Kun Sopheak of the knife and a brief fight ensued before the couple pinned the attacker to the ground and called for help, Thuch Ra said, adding that the couple escaped from the ordeal unharmed.

“I will send the suspect to court [today] after I have gathered all the evidence,” Thuch Ra added.

Fiona Cochaud, first secretary at the Australian Embassy, said that the embassy was aware of the incident, but that she could not comment on specific cases.

This is the second case in less than six months where a foreign national has been subjected to rape or attempted rape in Battam­bang province.

In November, police arrested a 17-year-old Buddhist monk for raping a 39-year-old British tourist while she was hiking in the Sam­pov mountains in Battam­bang pro­vince’s Banan district.

(Additional reporting by Cajsa Collin)

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