The Siem Reap Provincial Court on Monday charged and jailed a man who confessed to posing as a police officer on Saturday night in order to lure a 13-year-old girl into the forest near Angkor Wat and rape her, officials said.
Por Narai, a 36-year-old fruit and vegetable deliveryman, was arrested shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday, less than an hour after assaulting the child just 500 meters from the main road that leads to the temple complex in Siem Reap City’s Slakram commune, according to commune police chief Nhiek Sophal.
The victim had been riding home along the road on the bicycle of a 14-year-old boy following a playdate at her aunt’s house when Mr. Narai approached them on his motorbike and blocked their way, Mr. Sophal said, citing the suspect’s confession and interviews with the children on Sunday.
“He followed the children after he got drunk at a party, then stopped them and questioned them, pretending to be a police officer,” he said.
“After the suspect finished questioning the victims like a police officer would, he asked both to walk about 300 meters into the forest. Then he tied the 14-year-old boy to a tree and brought the girl 200 meters [further] to rape her,” he added, explaining Mr. Narai lashed the boy to the tree with one of the bungee cords that he used to secure fruits and vegetables to his motorbike.
Mr. Sophal said Mr. Narai was arrested by commune police during a routine patrol of the area. He said six officers spotted the abandoned motorbike and bicycle on the side of the road and began searching the woods, locating the boy and girl before chasing down the suspect using the sound of his footsteps as he tried to run away.
“We regret that we didn’t get there before the rape, but if we hadn’t arrested the suspect he would still be at large and it might have happened again, I think,” he said.
Thang Sakun, a deputy provincial police chief, said Mr. Narai was sent to the Siem Reap court on Monday afternoon and charged with rape of a minor, then sent to the provincial prison to await trial.
While acknowledging the heinous nature of the man’s crime, Mr. Sokhun also laid some blame on the childrens’ parents.
“I think these parents made a mistake, too, because they should have understand that it was nighttime, and should have gone together with their children.