The three teenagers who were arrested in Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district Tuesday for allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl were taken to the Municipal Court for questioning Wednesday, district police Chief Uch Sokhon said.
Sok Roeun, municipal deputy prosecutor, said by telephone Wednesday that the three suspects had been taken to the court, but court officials were too busy to question them and so the suspects had been returned to prison.
Uch Sokhon said he was alarmed by the fact that the victim as well as the alleged perpetrators—14, 16 and 18 years of age—were all so young.
“This is the first time a child so young has been raped in my district,” he said.
The perpetrators “are not drug users. They are normal teens,” he said.
The victim’s 28-year-old mother said by telephone Wednesday that she had gone out to do some shopping Sunday and left her daughter in the care of the three teenagers.
It was quite late when she got back Sunday night.
She said that immediately she noticed that her daughter seemed ill and was acting strange.
She said that her daughter was, at first, reticent to talk, but that she was finally able to learn what had transpired in her absence.
“My daughter named the three guys who had sex with her,” she said, adding that when she questioned the three youths, they had confessed.
She said the 18-year-old suspect was a friend of her husband’s who she thought was strange, but who had asked to live with the family.
“We never thought [he] would rape our daughter,” she said.
The other two suspects were her nephews, who had been living with her for about three years since her sister died.
She added that her daughter appeared to be doing much better since a medical consultation at Calmette Hospital on Monday.
In an unrelated case, a 16-year-old Kandal province boy was charged at the provincial court Monday with repeatedly raping his 12-year-old cousin, said Ith Sothea, a Kandal Provincial Court judge.
Pring Sothy, police chief of Choeung Koeub commune in Kandal Stung district, said that at first, the victim tried to hide what had happened to her.
However, it soon became apparent to her parents that she was ill and had vaginal bleeding from injuries inflicted during the attacks.
The girl told her parents that her cousin had raped her on three separate occasions, the last of which was May 14, and that the suspect had threatened to kill her if she told on him, he said.
The suspect raped the girl while they were alone at his house in Chhma Puoy village, he added.
The girl’s parents subsequently took her to the provincial health center for a checkup, where they were able to confirm that she had been raped, Pring Sothy said.
Nop Sarin Srey Roth, acting deputy director at the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, expressed concern Wednesday that instances of rape are on the rise, especially those involving underage perpetrators.
“Social norms allow for rape,” she said, adding that she also blames inattentive parenting and the availability of pornography for destroying social mores.