Two girls, a four-year-old and a 10-year-old, were raped in two separate incidents in Kompong Thom province at the weekend, police and human rights officials said yesterday.
On Sunday, a four-year old was raped in Kompong Svay district’s Trapaing Russei commune, said district police chief Seng Ly.
Soeng Sim, 32, was arrested for the rape after the victim’s mother contacted the police and reported seeing Mr Sim return from a nearby forest with her child, Mr Ly said.
“We arrested the suspect but he has not confessed to the crime,” Mr Ly, adding that the suspect is being held in district police custody and will be sent to the provincial police today.
Kun Sitha, a provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said Monday that the victim was currently at the provincial referral hospital and that there was no doubt she had been raped. Nevertheless, an investigation may be difficult as the child does not want to speak.
“She is quiet and feels scared,” Ms Sitha said.
In Santuk district’s Kraya commune, a 10-year-old was raped Friday afternoon while feeding her family’s cows in a forest near her home, said district police chief Mat Moly.
“The offender took action when the girl was alone in the forest. Parents should not allow young girls to care for cattle in the forest because it is dangerous,” he said, adding that the girl was initially with a group of children but wandered away from them.
According to Mr Moly, police have not yet arrested the suspected rapist due to a lack of evidence. The child has been released from the provincial referral hospital and is recovering at home, he added.
The cases mark the third and fourth reported instances of child rape this year. Rights groups and government officials have reported an increase in reported in rapes between 2008 to 2009.