Man Jailed Over Teen Rape, Attempted Murder

A 20-year-old farmer was jailed in Kompong Chhnang province on Sunday for raping a 14-year-old girl at her house in Rolea Ba’ier district before attempting to murder the teenager’s father with a machete on Saturday, police said.

District police chief Toem Chanthy said Theng Kosal was taken into police custody in the early hours of Saturday after the victims’ neighbors in Choeung Kreav commune performed a citizen’s arrest.

According to Mr. Chanthy, Mr. Kosal had been drinking rice wine with the girl’s father, Khut Phon, 46, and four other men under Mr. Phon’s stilt house after the group returned from hunting birds on Friday afternoon. He said the six continued drinking past midnight, and eventually decided that Mr. Phon—who was less inebriated than the others—would walk the rest of the men home.

But when Mr. Phon left his house with the others, the police chief said, Mr. Kosal stayed behind.

“When the father left the house, Mr. Kosal climbed up the steps and used a knife to cut a rope that had been used to lock the door and then went into the girl’s room,” Mr. Chanthy said.

“The suspect used a knife to threaten the girl and then removed her clothes and raped her,” he said, adding that the teenager and her younger brother were alone in the house because their mother had gone to Phnom Penh for work.

Mr. Chanthy said that when Mr. Phon returned home, he witnessed Mr. Kosal raping his daughter and began screaming at him. He said the young man then fled to his own house, but returned a few minutes later with a machete.

“The suspect came back with a machete to chop his [Mr. Phon’s] head,” he said. “But he shielded himself with his arms.”

As Mr. Kosal attempted to flee, the police chief said, the older man called for help and his neighbors surrounded Mr. Kosal, detaining him until police arrived. Mr. Phon and his daughter were sent to the provincial referral hospital for treatment, he added.

Srey Soda, deputy chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said that Mr. Kosal was charged with rape and attempted murder at the Kompong Chhnang Provincial Court on Sunday.

“The investigating judge, Sok Phen, charged the suspect this morning with the two crimes,” Mr. Soda said, adding that Mr. Kosal was being held at the provincial prison awaiting trial.

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