Man Accused of Raping Baby To Stand Trial

A 19-year-old man charged with raping a 14-month-old baby girl is scheduled to stand trial today in Pursat province, Sim Souyong, director of the Pro­tection of Juvenile Justice Or­ganization, said Tuesday.

Pursat provincial police apprehended suspect Pon Vannak at about 9 pm April 19 in the home of his alleged victim in Pteah Prey commune, Sampou Meas district, said Sim Souyong, who is also the lawyer for the child victim.

Both parents had left the house after Pon Vannak falsely told them that one of their relatives was being beaten, Sim Souyong said. Shortly after, they and their neighbors were alerted by the baby’s cries. The child was seriously injured and admitted to a local hospital for treatment.

Sim Souyong said that he is asking the court to impose “the most se­vere charges” against Pon Van­nak.

Human rights organizations have reported a rash of sexual assaults and rapes in Pursat province. Ly Houng, coordinator of the Adhoc human rights office in Pursat, said Tuesday his office had recorded 10 rape complaints since April. A Licadho human rights worker said earlier this year that Pur­sat province had the highest number of rapes in the country, including one case of a son raping his own mother.


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