Kompong Thom provincial police on Saturday arrested a man accused of kidnapping and raping a 7-year-old girl in Stung Sen City.
Sorn Pe, 22, was arrested on Saturday night after the girl’s family told police that he had crept into their house—where the child was sleeping with her grandmother and sisters at about 8 p.m.—bundled her into a blanket and ran away with her. He then raped her in a rice field, according to Srayov commune police chief Kang Son.
“The suspect took her from her house when she was sleeping, while she was covered in blankets. The grandmother saw him taking her away and tried to take her back but the suspect ran away,” said Mr. Son.
After the family reported the girl had been kidnapped, police began to go door-to-door in Raka village to find out who was unaccounted for, Mr. Son said. Mr. Pe’s family, who were neighbors of the victim, told police that he was out of the house.
Police then set up watch outside the victim and suspect’s houses, where two hours later they saw the suspect dump the girl near a patch of bamboo trees about 30 meters from her house and return to his own house.
During questioning, the victim told police that she recognized Mr. Pe as the man who raped her, and said he warned her that he would kill her if she shouted for help, Mr. Son said. The suspect has denied raping her, he added.
“We sent her [the victim] to the hospital that night because she was scared and in shock,” Mr. Son said, adding that her parents, who were not at home at the time of the abduction and rape, work as laborers in Kompong Cham province.
Chea Poeun, Kompong Thom provincial bureau chief for serious crimes, said that although the suspect has not confessed to the crime, there was enough evidence to move ahead with charging him.
“We examined the girl and she knows the suspect’s face because they live in the same village,” he said.
Mr. Poeun said that the victim would remain in the hospital until she recovers from the trauma. The suspect is being detained in provincial prison and will be sent to court today, he added.
Chhuom Run, provincial monitor for rights group Licadho, said that this was the second case of rape against a child in the province this year.
© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.