A 68-year-old traditional healer was sent to Battambang prison on Saturday after being charged with the rape of three of his patients, a senior provincial police official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Cheth Vanny, deputy chief of the Battambang provincial police, said yesterday that Chea Tab, a well-known Khmer traditional healer, was charged with sexual abuse and rape, and is now awaiting a pre-trial hearing.
“He has been accused by many victims of putting ripe bananas on their breasts and inside their vaginas to cure their ailments,” he told the Post yesterday, adding that the healer was also accused of raping some of the women in his house during treatment sessions.
Provincial police arrested Tab on May 9 in Moung Russey district’s Chrey commune after a 22-year-old sent by her parents to his house for a week of treatment for chronic headaches filed a complaint, Vanny said.
“She said that during her treatment, she was ordered by the Khmer healer to take off her clothes and her underwear, and after that, he took a ripe banana to rub on her breasts and inside her vagina,” he said.
“After he touched every part of her body, he raped her,” Vanny added.
After Tab was arrested, two other women emerged with similar accusations, he said.
In interviews with police, the healer reportedly confessed that he had been conducting his “crazy treatment” for over five years, treating at least 30 women in a similar manner, though he denied raping any patients as accused.
He could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.