An 18-year-old fisherman was arrested in Kandal province on Tuesday evening for the rape of an 11-year-old girl who had gone out alone that morning to pick fruit, authorities in Sa’ang district said on Wednesday.
Seng Socheat, the district police chief, said the girl had gone off to a neighbor’s sapodilla farm in Troeuy Sla commune in the morning to pick fruit when the suspect, Leng Chea, began to follow her. He said the girl had spotted the young man but assumed he was headed to the farm to pick fruit as well.
“After the victim picked the fruit for about five minutes, the suspect grabbed her and covered her mouth and took off her clothes to rape her,” the district chief said. “After the rape, the victim returned home and fainted, and she was sent to the commune health center.”
After the girl recovered in the afternoon, he said, she told her mother what had happened, and the mother quickly filed a complaint with local police.
“I immediately gave the order to find the suspect, and we found him in the evening while he was on the way home by himself, and then we arrested him. He has confessed to raping the victim,” Mr. Socheat said.
He said Mr. Chea would be handed over to the provincial police at some point today.
According to commune police chief Uy Try, Mr. Chea gave the girl 5,000 riel, about $1.25, after the attack in hopes of winning her silence.
“After raping her, he gave the victim 5,000 riel to buy a snack,” he said. “He thought the money could keep her from telling anyone. But the victim is always hurt after the rape, so they will tell their families.”
NGOs that work on rape cases, however, say a combination of factors, including fear, social stigma and a corrupt legal system, do keep many victims from reporting the crime.