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Three workers charged with gang rape of girl, 17

Three men were charged with gang raping a minor by the Prey Veng Provincial Court yesterday and are now awaiting trial in provincial prison, police said yesterday.

Nov Harch, chief of Mesang district police, said the men were arrested on Tuesday afternoon at a canal construction site following a complaint made by the victim’s parents. He identified the suspects, who all worked as excavator drivers at the site, as San Rattana, 25, Seang Samut, 24, and Thuch Novy, 30.

According to Harch, the men confessed to the assaults, which took place earlier this month. A fourth suspect identified by the victim has yet to be arrested.

Reading from the 17-year-old victim’s statement, Harch said Samut “had enticed her into having intercourse with promises of providing a smartphone to her, and claimed to call his parents [so he could] be engaged to marry her, but after he had sex with her, that guy tricked [her] so his friends could rape her”.

The alleged rapes occurred in two separate incidents in the first week of June.

Kim Ly, Prey Veng provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said the gang rape of minors is increasingly common, particularly in remote areas of the Kingdom and provinces near the Vietnam and Thailand borders.

He attributed the prevalence to a lack of education, substance abuse issues and easy access to pornography online.

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