Kompong Cham Provincial Court charged a 20-year-old man Saturday with raping a 13-year-old girl in her Tbong Khmum district home while her parents were away, police and court officials said yesterday.
Judge Thann Leng said Yeoung Kimchhean remained in detention at the provincial prison while awaiting trial at a later date. Under the Penal Code, Mr Kimchhean could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.
Mr Kimchhean allegedly confessed to the crime under questioning by police, who arrested him on Friday in his Chup commune home. Deputy district police chief Long Sarin said the man was a neighbor of the victim and had stopped by on Wednesday morning to see her older brother. Instead, Mr Kimchhean found the girl home alone and allegedly sexually assaulted her.
“The suspect confessed to raping his neighbor once at her home when the victim’s parents were out in a rubber plantation field for work,” said Mr Sarin. “The suspect threatened to kill the victim if she told the story to another person.”
Despite the threat, the victim told her parents of the attack, and they then filed a complaint with police, Mr Sarin added.
Lim Mony, deputy director of the women and children’s rights program at Adhoc, said rape cases had continued their upward trend in 2011, especially in regards to crimes against minors. “I asked authorities and police officials to pay close attention to help prevent more rape cases and to please punish perpetrators who commit the crimes and not to try to reach a compromise between the victims and the suspects,” Ms Mony said.
According to an Adhoc report, there were 501 rapes nationwide last year—including 33 rapes of children under the age of 5—up 9 percent from the 460 cases recorded in 2009. The organization stated that the true number of rapes was likely higher due to under reporting.
Statistics from National Police counted 321 rape cases in 2010. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs said earlier this month that it would conduct a one-year study into the growing problem.
The Cambodia Daily has reported on 25 child-rape cases this year.