Violent Rape Leaves 16-Year-Old Near Death

A 16-year-old girl was fighting for her life on Monday at a hospital in Battambang province after being knocked unconscious, raped and then viciously beaten by a young man she had befriended, according to local police.

The suspect, 18-year-old Met Phoeun, was arrested Monday morning after confessing to raping the girl outside her home in Thma Koul district the night before while her parents were away collecting edible insects in a rice field, said district police chief Phang Sopheap.

Mr. Phoeun, who has been unemployed since returning from doing migrant labor in Thailand two months ago, also admitted to beating the victim’s face with the wooden handle of a hoe “to shut her up”—leaving her with a slim chance of survival, the police chief said.

“The girl was severely beaten on the face and head, and we do not expected her to live,” he said.

Citing Mr. Phoeun’s confession, Mr. Sopheap said the young man showed up at the girl’s house on Sunday night while she was home alone with her 10-year-old sister—their parents, both rice farmers, having left to collect crickets and beetles from disused paddies in order to make extra money.

“The suspect went to her house and then asked her to have sex with him and she refused,” he said. “He beat her and she fell down unconscious, and then he raped her and then he beat her again.”

The parents returned home at about midnight to find their daughter’s battered body beneath their small raised shack, then called the village chief, who in turn contacted commune and district authorities, the police chief said.

Police identified Mr. Phoeun, he explained, after inspecting the girl’s phone and noticing a number of recent calls to and from his number.

“And second, the 10-year-old younger sister of the victim knew the suspect and said that the suspect used to visit their family,” he said, adding that police did not know more about the relationship.

Mr. Sopheap’s deputy, Heng Buntha, said Mr. Phoeun was being held at the district police station and would be sent to the Battambang Provincial Court today.

In another case, a 25-year-old student arrested on Saturday for the rape and murder of his 11-year-old neighbor in Siem Reap province was charged and sent to prison to await trial Monday, Duong Sokha, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau said.

The girl was found hanging by the neck from metal bars protecting a window at her house, and the suspect, Sar Kosal, was apprehended after investigators became suspicious when he took the lead in untying her, according to police. Police later found blood and semen on the genitals of Mr. Kosal, who has not confessed to the crime.

In yet another case, a motorcycle-taxi driver who confessed to raping his 14-year-old daughter at their home in Prey Veng province on Saturday was also charged Monday, according to provincial police chief Sreng Chea, who on Sunday described the suspect as “worse than an animal.”

“We tested his urine this morning and found that he has been using the drug methamphetamine,” he added Monday.

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