Man ‘Educated’ Over Sexual Abuse of Girl, 10

Police arrested a man in Mondulkiri province on Saturday evening for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old girl, but released him after the child’s parents decided not to file a complaint.

Reth Phen, 49, was arrested in Keo Seima district’s Sre Khtum commune after the victim’s parent’s told police that their daughter had been sexually abused, according to commune police chief Chin Sokan.

Mr. Sokan said that upon questioning Mr. Phen and the parents, police determined that the suspect had touched the girl inappropriately in a pepper plantation about 10 meters from the family’s home, but had neither taken off her clothes nor raped her.

“[T]he suspect had mental problems, and the girl’s parents did not file a complaint against him—they just asked us to educate him and we have released him,” Mr. Sokan said.

District police chief Sun Bunthoeun said police concluded that he was guilty of sexual assault, a crime that carries at least a year in prison and a fine of 2 million riel, or about $500.

He declined to comment on Mr. Phen’s release.

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This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Mr. Bunthoeun is the Keo Seima district police chief.

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