Two Men Arrested in Separate Rape Cases Involving Minors

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court questioned two men Mon­day over separate sexual abuse cases involving minors in Russei Keo district, municipal anti-trafficking police chief Keo Thea said Monday.

Thong Chanphin, 40, was arrested Friday for allegedly attempting to rape a 16-year-old girl, while ethnic Vietnamese resident of Cam­bodia Lim Heng, 25, was arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl, Mr Thea said.

He added that the suspects were questioned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday but have not yet been charged.

“The crime in fact is rape. If the girls volunteered like in the cases of foreigners, it would have been [the charge of] sex with a minor,” Mr Thea said.

Samleang Seila, country director of anti-pedophile NGO Action Pour Les Enfants, said that his organization brought both cases to the attention of police.

Mr Seila said that suspect Mr Heng is an “influential” person in the Vietnamese fishing community in Kilometer 6 commune, and that Mr Chanphin was living with him.

APLE is aware of other young victims of Lim Heng, but witnesses are too frightened to come forward, Mr Seila said.

“We will provide lawyers to the two victims and we will provide legal assistance to other victims,” Mr Seila said.

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