Police Say Belgian Faced Similar Complaint

A Belgian man being held on charges of raping a 14-year-old girl was questioned last year after a similar complaint by another teen-age girl, a police official said Sunday.

“Police called him in for questioning but he denied those allegations,” said Ream Sarin, bureau chief of the municipal police minor crime department. “The parents of the girl agreed to take $700 to drop the complaint. The case was put to an end then.”

Ream Sarin, who said he handled the case, said the teen-age girl claimed she was raped by Rudy Demasure early last year while working in his house. Demasure said Sunday that he did not wish to comment on the allegations.

The 49-year-old Demasure was arrested last week for allegedly raping his 14-year-old house maid.

His lawyer claimed Dema­sure was not given a chance to defend himself at a pre-trial hearing and that the girl’s age was unsubstantiated. The lawyer also said the sex was consensual and the girl had told Demasure that she was 18.

Several police officials have said that a senior government official has intervened in the case in an attempt to spring Demasure from jail, but he remains at PJ Prison, Khuon Sophon, chief of municipal penal police, said Sunday.

Colleagues of Demasure said Sunday that the Belgian has been suffering health problems since his detention.

A colleague working at the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Program—an NGO headed by Demasure, who also runs an agriculture investment company—said Sunday that Demasure has a heart condition which is being aggravated by prison conditions and stress caused by the rape allegations. She claimed the allegations are part of a concerted effort by former business partners to destroy Demasure’s reputation.



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