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Pagoda sex trial: Teenagers deny raping 6-year-old

Two teenage boys yesterday claimed they were innocent of raping a six-year-old girl at a pagoda in the capital’s Meanchey district in February, during the first day of their trial in Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

A 13-year-old pagoda boy in Niroth commune and a 17-year-old boy who lived near Wat Prachum Vong are on trial for allegedly raping the child near the pagoda’s stupa.

Presiding judge Sous Sam Ath said the two were arrested on March 5 after a complaint filed by the girl’s father and charged the next day. 

A Niroth commune police officer told the court the crime had occurred about 1pm on February 28. The suspects had lured the girl behind the stupa where there were no people, he said.

“She was grabbed by them and then they both raped her. After they raped her, they escaped,” he said.

A woman who witnessed the rape had alerted the girl’s family, the officer said.

The 17-year-old boy said he was at a coffee shop near the pagoda at the time the rape is alleged to have occurred.

“I know nothing about this. I have not done what I am accused of,” he said.

The 13-year-old boy said he was inside the pagoda hall at the time of the incident.

“I know nothing about this. I did not rape her,” he said.

The trial would reconvene on December 6, judge Sous Sam Ath said.

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