Locked-In Teenage Rape Victim Saved After Alerting Landlord

A 13-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and held in a rented room in Phnom Penh overnight on Saturday was saved on Sunday by the building’s landlord, police said on Monday.

The girl had come to the capital from her home in Kandal province to meet with her mother when she encountered 34-year-old moto-taxi driver Chhung Som Chhay, according to deputy district police chief Iv Chhun Pheng.

“The suspect convinced the victim to follow him when he met her on a street alone and promised to help her find her mother,” he said, adding that the girl did not have her mother’s telephone number or other contact information.

The driver then took the victim to a room that he had rented for two days in an apartment complex in Russei Keo district’s Russei Keo commune.

“On the first day, the suspect raped the victim three times in the room that he had rented,” Mr. Chhun Pheng said.

Trapped in the room alone on Sunday morning, the victim called out to a woman passing below her who happened to be the building’s landlord. She alerted local authorities, who rescued the girl.

“She was a lucky and smart girl,” the deputy district police chief said. “It was coincidence that the woman walking past her room was the landlord.”

“We took action on Sunday after we received a complaint from the landlord and we detained and questioned the suspect until we got results [from a medical examination] showing that the victim had been raped,” he said, adding that police were preparing to send the suspect to court today.

The girl was staying in an orphan center in the district while police attempted to locate her mother, according to Mr. Chhun Pheng.

Commune police chief Touch Kimsong said it was unusual to get cooperation from landlords.

“It’s not often that landlords send us reports,” he said. “Because they don’t want us to intrude on their apartment building.”

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