Two Men Released Over Alleged Rape, Illegal Detention

Russei Keo district police on Saturday released two men who had been detained for questioning over the alleged illegal detention and rape of a 22-year-old beer promoter, officials said.

Louch Sam Ath, 39, was arrested at his apartment in Toul Sangke commune on Friday after a woman fled naked from the apartment, said Russei Keo district police chief Som Bunny.

Further investigation revealed that the woman agreed to have sex in exchange for $50 on Thursday night, but the next day he tried to force her to stay longer against her will, Mr Bunny claimed. “It was not detention and rape,” he said. “The suspect wanted her to sleep with him one more time, but she rejected.”

The woman then confronted Mr Sam Ath before escaping from the apartment to the neighbors and accusing him of rape, he said, noting that she was treated for minor injuries at a clinic in Tuol Kok district.

Mr Sam Ath was released Saturday, after spending one night in police custody.

A second man, RCAF Lieutenant Colonel Ouk Lay, 45, was arrested and detained briefly on Saturday, after arriving at the police station to collect a car he had lent to Mr Sam Ath for the purpose of taking the woman to the apartment, Mr Bunny said.

Lt-Col Lay was released after a few hours, he said.

A copy of a district police report sent to municipal police over the incident said Mr Sam Ath locked the Hollandia beer employee in his flat and attempted to rape her, but she managed to escape when he opened the rear door.

“The suspect took the victim for detention in the apartment and took off her clothes,” a copy of the report said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Chet Khmera, who took part in the investigation at Mr Sam Ath’s flat, said yesterday that no evidence of rape or illegal detention was found.

“They were released because there was no evidence to charge them with illegal detention and rape,” Mr Khmera said.

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