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‘Jungle girl’ not raped: doctors

DOCTORS at Ratanakkiri provincial referral hospital have quashed speculation that Rochom P’nhieng, Cambodia’s “jungle girl”, was raped before she fell into a dugout toilet, where she was discovered by a neighbour last Friday.

Sal Lou, who says he is Rochom P’nhieng’s father, said Tuesday that, after performing tests, doctors had ruled out his previous suspicion that she was sexually assaulted before being thrown into the latrine.

“The doctor told me that my daughter is fine, so we can leave hospital,” he said. “My daughter really wants to leave the hospital because she does not like to stay there.”

Hing Phan Sakunthea, the director of the hospital, said Tuesday that Rochom P’nhieng had suffered no serious injuries during her latest ordeal.

“She does not have a big problem with her health; she just has itches on her skin,” he said, but added that he would continue to monitor her health.

Rochom P’nhieng, believed to be 29 years old, was discovered in the wilds of Ratanakkiri in January 2007 and taken in by a family that says she is a daughter who went missing in 1989 while herding buffalo.

Last month, Rochom P’nhieng shed her clothes and fled from her family’s home into the forest for the third time since 2007, before turning up in the toilet.

Sal Lou said his family would try to keep a close eye on Rochom P’nhieng, but he was concerned about what might happen when they leave the house for work.

Chhay Thy, provincial monitor for the rights group Adhoc, questioned whether the family could ensure her safety and expressed doubts about the health checks she received. “The doctors just saw the outside of her body where they saw the itch and small wound, and allowed her to go back home,” he said.

He said the circumstances of her case remain suspicious due to the small size of the hole she fell into, and vowed to continue his own investigations.

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