Takeo Provincial Court yesterday charged a 25-year-old man with indecent acts for allegedly forcing a 6-year-old girl to perform oral sex on him before abandoning her in an empty field in Borei Cholsar district, police said.
Chhoem Chroeurn was arrested in Doung Khpos commune early Thursday after a six-hour search for the victim, whom he allegedly abandoned in a field near her house after sexually abusing her, according to police, who said the suspect was now in provisional detention.
“The suspect confessed that he did not rape the victim but that he asked the victim to lick his penis and he touched the victim’s vagina,” deputy district penal police chief Buoy Bunnareth said.
The victim’s grandmother told police that she had visited a neighbor on Wednesday evening, leaving the victim alone with Chhoem Chroeurn who was sleeping off a night of drinking, Mr Bunnareth said.
When the grandmother returned home at around 9 pm, she discovered that her granddaughter and Chhoem Chroeurn were missing and contacted police. Police found the victim at 3 am.
“The victim was fine because she was not raped,” Mr Bunnareth said, referring to the victim’s condition when police found her.
Police arrested Chhoem Chroeurn at his home around 7 am on Thursday morning, he said.
Bith Kimhong, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department, said yesterday that he was unaware of the case but that the suspect, if found guilty, should be given the maximum allowable sentence.
“According to the law, the suspect has to be given serious punishment in order to be a lesson for other perpetrators who intend to commit the crime of rape,” he said.
The incident marked the 18th reported case of child rape this year.
Hor Neath, Takeo provincial coordinator for the human rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that child rape cases were on the rise this year and that more needed to be done by both parents and police to protect children from being sexually abused.
When asked what police are doing to combat sexual abuse crimes in the country, Mr Kimhong said: “We need to eliminate sexual videos and gambling and promote awareness about the law.”