A rice farmer in Kratie province has confessed to sexually assaulting his 13-year-old stepdaughter while on a three-day trip to the forest last week and was jailed on aggravated rape charges on Wednesday, officials said.
Meas Horn, 40, who lives with his wife and children in Kratie’s Sambor district, traveled with his stepdaughter to a patch of forest some 25 km from their home on May 25 to gather wood for construction and raped the girl on Friday night before returning home the next morning, according to district police chief Bun Chhoeun.
“The stepfather went to cut wood inside the forest and brought his stepdaughter along to cook rice for him,” Mr. Chhoeun said.
On Friday night, “the stepfather threatened to kill her with an ax, dragged her down by her hand and raped her,” he said.
“The suspect threatened to kill the girl if she broke the news,” Mr. Chhoeun added.
Upon returning home, however, the girl told her mother what had happened, the police chief said, and Mr. Horn was arrested on Tuesday after the mother filed a complaint against him.
“The suspect admitted to raping the girl once, and it matched the testimony of the girl,” he said.
Deputy provincial police chief Oum Phy said Mr. Horn was sent to the Kratie Provincial Court on Wednesday, charged with rape of a minor and sent to prison to await trial.
“It was a criminal act and was disgraceful,” Mr. Phy said. “She is his stepdaughter, but she was like his own child because he loved her mother.”
Investigating Judge Ros Samerdy, who laid the rape charge, could not be reached on Wednesday.
According to rights group Adhoc, minors accounted for more than 20 percent of victims in 238 rape cases recorded by the organization last year, adding that the figures were likely well below the actual number of cases as most victims kept quiet.