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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang man held over rape of girl, 6

Battambang man held over rape of girl, 6

A suspected child rapist has been arrested in Battambang province on suspicion of assaulting a 6-year-old girl, according to police, who said he had admitted to raping another girl.

The suspect, Chhun Leav, 29, was arrested yesterday by police from the province’s Serious Crimes Office on charges of raping a 6-year-old girl in Bavel district’s Boeung Thom village on Thursday afternoon.

Seng Lux, deputy chief of the Serious Crimes Office, said police officers uncovered evidence that Leav raped the girl after first choking her to stifle her screams.

He was apprehended after leaving her badly bruised and unconscious where the attack took place, police said.

“He confessed proudly in front of the police that he had tried to rape that young girl,” Lux said, adding that the suspect said he had been unable to actually achieve penetration. “Now we have charged him with raping" her.

Leav also allegedly confessed to raping a 9-year-old girl in the same village in early January, he said.

He was also arrested after the alleged January attack, an officer said, as he tried to make a dash for the Thai border, but no charges were brought against him.

“His style is to choke the little girls to stop them from yelling, and then he rapes them,” Lux said.

After sexually assaulting the girl on Thursday, Leav strangled her until she was unconscious so that he could make his getaway, according to the authorities.

When questioned as to why he did not strangle the child to avoid being identified if caught, Leav reportedly claimed that he did not want to kill her, adding that he was fond of her and even that they had gone on holiday together in the past.

The girl’s mother, Heng Mao, 45, yesterday demanded justice from the courts and said that she will seek compensation from the suspect.

“Now my little girl is still hospitalised at Battambang Provincial Hospital, and she said that she is sore; she has a sore eye and stomach,” Mao said.

“A doctor told me that my daughter’s genitals were not wounded,” she added.

Mao said that she would demand $2,000 in compensation from Leav.

Following the alleged attack, the traumatised young girl was sent for treatment at Battambang Provincial Hospital.

Sar Theth, Battambang provincial police chief, said yesterday the girl had been examined by doctors who had found evidence of a serious assault that could amount to rape.

“The doctor could not find any wounds on the little girl’s genitals when they examined her, but they found bruises on her thigh, belly and blood in her right eye as a result of the strangulation and torture she endured during and after the rape,” he said.

Leav, he went on to say, was being held at Battambang provincial police station yesterday evening.

Police declined to comment yesterday on why charges were not brought against Leav following an earlier arrest after the suspected rape of a 9-year-old girl in the same district in January.

“We will send the suspect to the provincial court on Monday for sentencing in line with legal procedure,” Theth said.



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