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Teen arrested on child sex charges

A 19-YEAR-OLD man from Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune has been detained for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl, police officials said on Wednesday.

Kuch Phirom, 19, was arrested on Friday after the girl’s parents filed a complaint with anti-human trafficking police, accusing the suspect of having a sexual relationship with their daughter, acting police chief of Phnom Penh’s Anti-human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Bureau Touch Sarein said.

“At our police station, the suspect confessed to having consensual sexual intercourse with the girl four separate times from the end of 2009,” Touch Sarein said.

“He said they were both high school students and had been conducting a romantic relationship through phone conversations since September 2009.”

Touch Sarein said the case was not being treated as a rape, since testimonies from both parties involved suggested that the relationship was consensual.

But he said the case would still go to trial, adding: “The man must be prosecuted anyway for having sex with a minor under 15 years old.”

Touch Sarein said the girl’s parents had demanded financial compensation as well as prosecution.

Under Cambodia’s Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Law, adopted in 2008, the accused could face five to 10 years in prison for having sexual relations with the girl.

A trial date has not yet been set, Touch Sarein said.

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