The year is 1945 and Cambodian men are packed into traditional longboats, ready to race each other in an event that “has been going on for more than 1,000 years” at the annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh.
A 43-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Preah Sihanouk province, while a 22-year-old man was arrested in Kandal province on the same day for raping a 7-year-old girl.
Nouv Savuth, chief of Preah Sihanouk province’s serious crime bureau, said local veterinarian Nguon Pov was arrested on Wednesday at his house in Bei commune after receiving a complaint filed on behalf of the young victim’s family by a child-protection NGO.
“We arrested him after receiving a complaint from the victim’s family by M’Lop Tapang,” he said.
Mr. Savuth said the victim’s mother is a garment worker who sometimes spends one or two weeks away from home, and left her daughter with the suspect, who is a family friend, his wife and their children.
“On Monday night at about 10 p.m., the little victim was sleeping alone when the suspect raped her and threatened to kill her if she told her mother or anyone else,” he said.
On Wednesday, the girl’s aunt brought her to the provincial hospital after she became very withdrawn. The girl then told her aunt what had happened while they were on the way to the hospital, and an examination confirmed that she had been attacked.
Nguon Pov initially denied the rape, but is now awaiting trial in the provincial prison after being charged with the crime by the provincial court on Thursday.
In Kandal province’s Mok Kampoul district, deputy police chief Nov Saravuth said 22-year-old brick kiln worker Mao Pov was also arrested on Wednesday, the same day he is alleged to have raped a 7-year-old girl in Prek Anhchanh commune.
“We arrested the suspect after the family victim filed a complaint with the Prek Anhchanh commune police station” Mr. Saravuth said.
The victim’s parents told police their daughter had gone to play at a nearby lake with five friends. While the children were swimming, the suspect grabbed the girl and raped her.
She is recovering in the hospital while her alleged attacker is being held at the provincial police station ahead of appearing in court today to be charged.
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