Teenager Arrested Over Child Rapes; Police Fear More Victims

A teenage boy was arrested in Stung Treng province on Wednesday on suspicion of repeatedly raping two young girls over the course of three months, according to police, who say there could be more victims.

The suspect—whose parents say he is 14 years old—was arrested at his home in Thala Barivat district’s Kaing Cham commune after parents of the alleged victims, aged 9 and 11, reported him to police and also claimed that he raped other girls in the area, according to commune police chief Long Saveth.

“He was arrested at about 3 p.m. this afternoon in the commune and is accused of raping many girls in the past,” Mr. Saveth said.

“His parents claim he is 14 years old, but he looks 16 to 17 years old,” he said, adding that the boy is currently being held at the district police station.

Duong Sivutha, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, said the alleged rapes took place over a roughly three-month period beginning in December.

“He raped the 9- and 11-year-old victims between three and four times [each] since early December 2014,” he said, adding that the most recent attack was believed to have taken place earlier this month.

The bureau chief said another “four or five” alleged victims under the age of 14 were expected to arrive at the provincial referral hospital today for medical examinations.

The father of the 11-year-old girl said that he reported the suspect to police after his daughter and other girls in the neighborhood reported being attacked by the teenager.

“On March 14, I heard two or three girls, including my daughter, say that [the suspect] raped them,” he said.

“When my wife asked her again, she said [the suspect] raped her three times but that she was scared [the suspect] would hit her if she told me or my wife,” he added. The girl’s father also said that his family wanted the boy to be punished and to pay $5,000 in compensation.

Under Cambodian law, the legal age of criminal responsibility is 18, but judges can convict a minor aged 14 years or over if the circumstances of the crime justifies them doing so.

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