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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man charged with child rape, murders

Man charged with child rape, murders

A Battambang man has confessed the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and the killing of her nine- and 11-year-old friends.

Chem Vasna, 20, was charged on Saturday with the alleged murder of the three children on September 9 in a field near Daun Ba commune’s Teuk Thmem village and is in the provincial prison awaiting trial.

The village was devastated last week after distraught locals found the victims’ bodies, left in Koh Krolor district’s forested cattle pastures for four days, on Wednesday.

Battambang provincial judge Try Sothort told the Post yesterday Vasna had admitted to raping and strangling the eight-year-old before slitting her throat and stabbing her in the stomach with a hooked knife.

Vasna also confessed to stabbing the two male witnesses as they attempted to flee back to their homes to alert villagers, he said, and could face 10 to 15 years in prison for each count of murder if convicted.

The suspect lured the girl into “picking mushrooms” while she was tending to cattle with the other victims, Sothort said.

Battambang deputy police chief Cheth Vanny said Vasna had admitted to burying the weapon at the site.

Another man was arrested on Thursday and a further two questioned, however, all three have since been released.

Cambodian Center for Human Rights president Ou Virak said rape remained one of the nation’s biggest problems.

“Ultimately, it’s the government’s responsibility for not enforcing legislation enough,” he said. “It occurs more in remote areas, because victims are poor and vulnerable, and because of that, the government has less will to enforce properly out there,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at sarom.kim@phnompenhpost.com
With assistance from Claire Knox

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