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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rape charges follow Facebook extortion

Rape charges follow Facebook extortion

Shoking allegations of sexual assault and extortion via social media surfaced on Friday when the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sent a suspect to Prey Sar prison to await trial for accusations that he repeatedly raped a minor, then posting sexually explicit photos of the assaults on Face­book, a court official said yesterday.

Deputy prosecutor Sy Vanny, who issued the warrant for suspect Sim Dara’s arrest, said yesterday that Dara, 26, in 2011 allegedly raped the then-under age victim, then threatened to make public the rape if she refused to continue to submit to subsequent sexual assaults.

“The suspect was charged for rape, threatening [his victim’s] life and posting sexual pictures publicly,” she said.

According to Vanny, Dara, who lived in Boeung Chhouk village in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune, first got in touch with the victim via Facebook in early 2011.  Dara invited the victim to go for a walk, picking her up on his motorbike.

The victim reported to police that she drank a can of Coca-Cola offered to her by Dara, after which she fell ill. At that point, said Vanny, Dara allegedly took the victim to a guesthouse and raped her, taking both stills and video of the assault. It is unknown whether the victim’s drink had been drugged.

After the rape, Dara showed the victim a gun, Vanny went on, allegedly threatening to kill her or to make the photographs public if she told to anyone.

The brutal act became part of  a regular pattern, said Vanny, with the suspect allegedly asking the victim out on numerous occasions, each time threatening post the photos if she didn’t comply.

After months of acceding to the extortion and rape, on November 3, 2011, the victim denied Dara’s demands, saying that she had a fiancé. The victim filed the official complaint nearly one year later, after October 21, 2012, when Dara reportedly made good on his threats to post the pictures, uploading the images to Facebook, and sending them to the victim’s fiancé and relatives.

The victim and suspect could not be reached for comment.



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