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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - One gang-rape suspect caught, six still at large

One gang-rape suspect caught, six still at large

A 23-year-old man suspected of participating in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl was arrested this week in Thbong Khmum province, while his six alleged accomplices remain at large, officials said yesterday.

Ouk Pov, Kroch Chhmar district deputy police chief, told the Post that the victim was at the provincial hospital with her mother on Monday when she left alone to go to a bathroom outside the premises and bumped into the seven suspects, who were drinking alcohol nearby.

“They forcefully raped her and detained her for one night,” Pov said, adding that it was the first alleged case of rape seen in Kroch Chhmar district.

According to Pov, following a complaint from hospital staff, police on Tuesday found the victim and the seven suspects at a location near the hospital.

“We saved the girl and arrested one man, 23-year-old Thoeun Thy. The other six escaped. But we are seeking to arrest and punish them, and we know their identities,” Pov said.

He added that police officers also found five condoms at the scene.

Pov said that, following his arrest, Thy had claimed that the victim and one of the suspects knew each other and had “made an appointment to meet”.

But, he added, the victim claimed that she did not know any of the suspects.

“I concluded that the girl was really raped, and we arrested the suspect to punish him through the law because the victim is still underage,” he said, adding that her health was in “good condition”.

Thy was charged yesterday at Thbong Khmum Provincial Court with “rape with aggravating circumstances” and sent to the provincial prison while the investigation continued.

Kroch Chhmar district police were cooperating with other nearby district police units in the province to track down the remaining suspects, Pov said.

According to a United Nations report released last year, one in five Cambodian men have committed rape, but more than 44 per cent of them have never faced any legal consequences.

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