A man suspected of raping a 6-year-old girl in Pursat province on Thursday night was arrested on Friday, officials said.
The victim, who had been abandoned by her parents and was staying with the sister of the 19-year-old suspect, Men Tha, was raped around 10 p.m. after she was left alone in the house, said Veal Veng district police chief Theang Leng.
“On Thursday night after the suspect came to his sister’s home, he did not see his sister and her husband at home then he raped the child,” he said.
After the attack, the girl went to ask for help from neighbors as the suspect fled into the forest, Mr. Leng said, adding that Mr. Tha was arrested around 7 a.m. Friday following an all-night search.
Upon questioning, Mr. Leng said the suspect denied raping the girl, but admitted to sexually assaulting her.
Iep Porheng, chief of Chhoeu Tealchrum village, where the incident occurred, said the victim suffered serious internal injuries as a result of the attack and is being treated at the provincial referral hospital.
“Now the victim is suffering mental problems such as panic attacks, anxiety and she is crying a lot. Me and the other people pity her so much because she has no parents,” said Mr. Porheng, adding that the suspect—also known as Ke—is well-known in the village for his bad behavior and drinking.
“Mr. Ke is the bad man in the village,” he said. “He raped the child because he was so drunk.”
In a report released earlier this week, local rights Adhoc said it recorded 131 rape cases in the first half of 2015, up 64 percent on last year.
The report says 100 of the cases involved the rape of a minor: 63 cases in which the victim was between 10 and 18 years old, 32 cases in which the victim was between 5 and 10, and five cases in which the victim was younger than 5.