Teen Worker Gang-Raped; One Suspect Arrested, Three on Run

Police have arrested a young man in Kompong Speu province for the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in Kandal province on Monday and are searching for three of his friends, officials said on Wednesday.

The victim and four suspects worked at garment factories at the same industrial park in Ponhea Leu district, and the rape occurred as they were drinking together after work on Monday night, according to deputy district police chief Seng Srang.

Sean Sambath, 23, was arrested at his parents’ home in Kompong Speu’s Odong district on Tuesday evening, and subsequently confessed to the crime, Mr. Srang said.

“The suspect confessed that he raped the victim first, and three of his friends then followed his lead,” he said, adding that Mr. Sambath was placed in the custody of Kandal provincial police on Tuesday night.

According to Mr. Srang, his officers began searching for the suspects after the girl came to the Ponhea Leu district police station with her parents on Wednesday morning to file a complaint. He said she told investigators that on Monday night, a fellow garment worker named Pov Kong persuaded her to join a small party at his house near the industrial park with Mr. Sambath and two other men.

“They were all drinking together. And at about 9 p.m., they raped the victim,” Mr. Srang said, adding that all five people present were already known to each other.

“We are now investigating to arrest the three other suspects who escaped,” he said.

Lim Sokuntha, chief prosecutor at the Kandal Provincial Court, said on Wednesday that Mr. Sambath was due to be charged today.

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