Military police in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district are attempting to identify the man who raped a 9-year-old girl on her way to school on Tuesday, but have made little headway, an official said on Wednesday.
According to district military police commander Nguon Thirith, the girl had been walking her usual 800-meter route to school through dense forest in Trapaing Tav commune when a man began following her on a motorbike.
“The 9-year-old victim left her house to walk to school at midday like usual. However, an unidentified suspect followed her on his motorbike and—about 300 meters before she reached the school—dragged the victim into the forest across the road and raped her,” he said, adding that the man then abandoned his motorbike and fled on foot.
Mr. Thirith said the girl ran home after the attack to tell her parents, who alerted commune police before driving their daughter to the district referral hospital for an examination.
“The victim showed signs of attack, and was bleeding from her genital region, and she is spending the night at the Anlong Veng hospital,” he said.
Military police investigating the case have not identified the man, according to Mr. Thirith, his abandoned motorbike their only clue.
“The [motorbike’s] serial number has been defaced, which is suspicious and is making our investigation more difficult,” he said.
“However, we won’t stop looking until we find who did this, to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future,” he added.
Mr. Thirith noted that Anlong Veng was heavily forested, and said he would urge parents in the area to escort their children to and from school from now on.
“Even the commune police don’t have much ability to patrol the area; you have to understand that the Anlong Veng forest area is very big,” he said.
“To avoid a rape from occurring, parents should bring their kids to school, because a suspect who wants to rape a child might hide in the forest and wait until it is quiet.”