A man suspected of luring a 6-year-old girl into a field in Battambang province with a can of fruit juice and sexually assaulting her on Tuesday has been arrested and is being questioned by court officials, police said on Friday.
Mour Lan, deputy chief of the judicial bureau of the Sangke district police, said the victim had been watching television at about 6:30 p.m. in a grocery store not far from her grandparents’ house in Kompong Prieng commune when she left the store with suspect Thy Rotha, 28, after he offered her a can of orange juice.
“She told police that she was brought to a field about 100 meters from the village,” Mr. Lan said. “She said he put his fingers into her mouth and later stripped down her pants and inserted his finger into her anus and touched her genitals.”
Mr. Lan said the victim’s grandmother reported the incident to dis*trict police Wednesday night after the child told her she was assaulted.
Mr. Rotha confessed to sexually assaulting the victim, who is being raised by her grandparents, during questioning by district police. “The suspect said he put his fingers into her mouth and then touched her genitals,” Mr. Lan said, adding that the man denied having penetrated the child’s anus.
He was questioned at the Battambang Provincial Court by a pros*ecutor on Friday and is expected to continue undergoing questioning on Saturday, according to court spokesman Touch Sopheakdey.
In a separate case, officials have charged a 41-year-old man with at*tempting to rape an 11-year-old girl while she slept under her parents’ house in Kratie province last week.
James McCabe, director of op*er*ations for the Child Protection Unit, an arm of the Cambodian Chil*dren’s Fund that investigates child abuse cases alongside local author*ities, said the girl woke up at about 3 a.m. when the naked man, who is unknown to the family but lives close by, smothered her face and attempted to rape her.
“She was awoken by a male on top of her, smothering her face and he was naked, he was attempting to rape her and he started strangling her because she woke up,” he said on Friday.
Mr. McCabe said the parents of the victim, who sustained injuries to her neck, filed a complaint with police, who then arrested him at his home early that morning. An investigation is ongoing, he said.
“It is a serious assault as well, so they are now looking at wheth*er or not the intention actually was to kill her because she woke up,” Mr. McCabe said.
Ty Sovinthal, chief prosecutor for the Kratie Provincial Court, said the suspect, whose name he could not recall, was charged with attempted rape on Monday and remanded to the provincial prison.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old cassava farmer, San Tin, who was arrested on Thursday for raping his 6-year-old neighbor in Kratie’s Sambor district earlier this week, was also charged with rape and jailed on Friday, Mr. Sovinthal said.
soumy@cambodiadaily.com, naren@cambodiadaily.com and kohlbacher@cambodiadaily.com
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