A Banteay Meanchey man was arrested Saturday after allegedly raping four sisters after their mother failed to repay her debt to him, court and police officials said Sunday.
Tith Sophy, 49, was arrested at his home in O’Chrou district’s Poipet commune on Wednesday, shortly after the victims filed a complaint to police, said Kouch Theam, deputy police chief of the province’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection department.
The sisters, now in their early 20s, accused Tith Sophy of repeatedly raping them since 1992 after their mother, who is now deceased, sent them to work for him when she could not repay a debt of $75, Kouch Theam said.
“He has exploited the victims’ family for a long time,” Kouch Theam said. “I’ve never heard of or known such a crime.”
The eldest of the sisters told police the suspect began raping her when she was 12 years old when she began working for him as a housemaid.
The second sister went to work for him in 1998. The victims’ parents died later the same year, Kouch Theam said, and the other two sisters soon followed when they were left homeless.
The suspect allegedly threatened the women against speaking out about the rapes and said he would deduct $1.25 from the family’s debt each time he had sex with them, Kouch Theam said. The victims, however, could not count how many times they had been raped.
Cheth Kemara, the province’s deputy chief prosecutor, said Sunday that the suspect had confessed to the rapes.
“We are investigating this matter [to determine] whether he really did the crime,” he said. Tith Sophy is being held at the provincial prison awaiting trial.