In the second reported rape and murder of the year, the body of a 43-year-old widow was found early Sunday morning in Kampot province’s Dang Tong district, police said yesterday.
The attacker tied the woman’s eight-year-old son to the outside of the family home at around midnight on Saturday and proceeded to rape and murder Tham Chenda inside the house, said In Chiva, provincial judicial police chief. Police were only alerted on Sunday afternoon after the eight-year-old eventually broke free and ran to neighbors and relatives, Mr Chiva added.
“We concluded this was a rape and murder case because the victim’s underwear was torn and her dress taken off,” Mr Chiva said, adding that the victim was gagged with a scarf, raped and then choked with a T-shirt.
Sim Sorphea, provincial investigator for local rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that cases of rape are increasing in the province due to poor policing and the continuing practice of allowing rapists to pay cash to victims in return from dropping charges. Traditionally, police take a large percentage of the money when brokering such deals.
“The authorities always negotiate between the offenders with the victim’s families to give some compensation,” Ms Sorphea said. “In general, when the offenders have money they can be free,” she said.
The first reported rape and murder this year was on January 15 in Kratie province where the body of a nine-year-old girl was found in the woods behind a primary school in Sambor district.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly raping the girl and then beating her to death with a wooden pole. The youth said he carried out the attack claiming the young girl had said something disparaging about him earlier in the day.
Child protection groups have repeated said that the number of rape and murders of women and children is increasing each year, while the age of rape victims is also getting younger.