Healer Charged With Raping 12-Year-Old Girl

A traditional healer was charged on Thursday with raping a 12-year-old girl in the jungle in Stung Treng province after promising to cure her bad luck with a water blessing, officials said.

The 55-year-old healer was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after police received a complaint from the victim’s father, Stung Treng City police chief Chhouk Komal said.

A fortune-teller had advised the victim’s aunt on Monday to take the girl to the healer to rid her of bad luck, but night had fallen by the time the pair arrived, so the healer invited the girl to stay there alone that night so he could perform the blessing early on Tuesday morning, Mr. Komal said.

The aunt “let her niece stay with the healer because she trusted him,” he said.

The healer raped the girl in the jungle the next morning and she told her father about the rape later that day, he said.

Kim Hongsan, deputy court prosecutor, said the suspect was charged with rape with aggravating circumstances and was placed in provisional detention to await trial.

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