Teenager Charged for Child Rape

A 15-year-old boy was jailed in Kratie province on Wednesday after raping a 5-year-old girl on the cassava plantation where he worked, police and court officials said.

The teenager assaulted the girl inside her family’s living quarters on the Snuol district plantation on Monday morning, said Hout Limheang, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, and ran away when the victim’s mother came home.

“When she arrived home at about 10:30 a.m., she saw [the suspect] run out of the room, and her daughter’s underwear was inside out and there was blood on the back of her underwear,” Mr. Limheang said. “She immediately asked her daughter why she was wearing the underwear inside out. She then told her mother that [the suspect] laid on her and put his genitals into her genitals.”

The teenager—who left his family in neighboring Tbong Khmum province to work on the plantation in Sre Char commune—was apprehended on Monday afternoon, upon climbing down from a coconut tree on the farm, the bureau chief said.

Under questioning at the commune police station, the boy admitted to raping the girl while her parents were washing clothes outside the family’s room in a residential compound for plantation workers, he said.

“He said…he was watching TV with the girl while her parents had gone away. Then, because her parents were not home, he stripped her and raped her,” Mr. Limheang said.

Sum Ravuth, the Kratie Provincial Court’s chief prosecutor, said the teenager was charged with rape of a minor and would be sent to the provincial prison to await trial.

Rights group Licadho recorded 98 cases of child rape in the first five months of the year—including four gang rapes—up from 75 during the same period in 2015, according to Pen Ratha, the group’s senior monitor of women’s and children’s rights documentation.

Nap Somaly, the group’s senior women’s rights and children’s rights monitoring officer, attributed the increase of child rape to a decline in adherence to religious teachings, a rise in the availability of pornography due to expanding smartphone use, and the continued inability of local law enforcement and civilian officials to bring perpetrators to justice.

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