Three Youths, Aged 12 to 15 Years, Suspected in 2 Child-Rape Cases

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday charged a 15-year-old in the rape of a 5-year-old girl, while in a separate case a 14-year-old was charged in the gang rape of a 10-year-old girl, officials said yesterday.

Police arrested the 14-year-old boy along with a 12-year-old on Wednes­day after receiving a complaint from the victim’s mother accusing the boys of both raping the 10-year-old girl in Russei Keo’s Svay Pak commune, said Chan Sahuth, deputy district penal police chief.

The 12-year-old did not meet the minimum age to be charged under Cambodian law and has been sent back to his parents, Mr Sahuth said.

A neighbor had heard about the rape and informed the mother on May 30, Mr Sahuth said, adding that the girl’s parents had left the family home at the time of the rape.

“Because the parents went out fishing, that allowed the rapist to commit the crime,” he said.

The two boys said that the 12-year-old lured the girl from her home to another house in the area, where he and the 14-year-old raped her, Mr Sahuth said.

Deputy Prosecutor Chea Meth said that the 14-year-old is being held in pretrial detention.

In a separate case, a 15-year-old was arrested Thursday in Chroy Changva commune after the mother of a 5-year-old girl told police that her daughter had been raped the day before, Mr Sahuth said.

“After he raped her he threatened the victim about telling anyone,” he said.

Deputy Prosecutor Hing Bunchea said the teenager is being held in pretrial detention.

Local rights group Adhoc recorded 113 child rapes from January to April and since then The Cambodia Daily has reported on 15 more child rapes.

On Wednesday, police in Koh Kong questioned a 13-year-old in the rape of a 7-year-old girl.

Chan Soveth, chief monitor at the local rights group Adhoc, said the recent accusations of rape by such young suspects are disturbing. He attributed the crimes to a “bad social environment.”

“The bad environment of a child’s life will affect their actions and feelings,” he said.


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