Police Delay Collecting Evidence in Rape Case

Despite being completed six days ago, police in Preah Si­hanouk province have not yet collected the results of a medical examination conducted on an Irish woman who was sexually assaulted in the coastal resort last week, a hospital official said.

The Irish woman, who at 4 pm on March 19 filed a report with police stating that she was raped earlier that morning, was brought for a medical examination by police on March 20, more than 24 hours after she was assaulted, said Ho Sothy, deputy director of the provincial referral hospital.

The results of the examination, which Ho Sothy said he was not authorized to reveal, were ready that same day, but as of Wed­nesday, police had still not in­quired after the medical report.

“We are now just waiting for the official request from police or from the prosecutor,” he said.

Deputy Provincial Police Chief Chor Heng said the police were not aware that the medical report was finished and added the hospital should have said something about its completion.

“I did not realize that,” Chor Heng said Wednesday by telephone, adding that authorities were under the impression the results would not be available for at least one month.

“Generally, the hospital in­forms the police once they finish the report,” he said, adding that the hospital could be mistaken about the results being complete.

Contacted throughout the week, police have remained tight-lipped about the rape case, saying that the investigation is ongoing and, de­spite not even having seen the me­dical report, have asserted that the victim might not have been attacked, and had focused attention on a report that the victim had been at a bar on the night of the attack.

At around 3 am on March 12, workers sleeping near a construction site in Mittapheap district’s commune 4 found the victim in a distressed state. A female worker allowed her to spend the night in her tent. Tourist police took the victim from the construction site to her guesthouse at around 7 am and she filed a complaint with police later that day.

In a police report reviewed by Chan Chamroeun, the provincial investigator for local human rights group Adhoc, the attack on the woman involved two Cam­bodian men.

Chor Heng declined to comment on the investigation Wed­nesday other than to say that his officers had no leads. He added that he would send a subordinate to the hospital to see if the results were indeed ready.

Despite the lack of initiative in picking up the results of the medical examination, National Police spokesman Kieth Chantharith in­sisted Wednesday that police are taking the case seriously.

“It will affect the tourism industry in that province,” he said.

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