A traditional healer in Kampong Speu province has been accused of using his position to allegedly rape a teenaged girl.
Phom Khoeum, a 58-year-old healer from Chansen commune, was taken into custody on Sunday after the mother of the 15-year-old victim, Chea Sarem, 39, filed a complaint to the local authorities.
Choub Sovan, the local commune chief, said the girl had fallen ill and treatment at the local hospital had failed to bring down her fever.
“My daughter had a high temperature and I sent her to be treated at the provincial hospital, but she was not better,”Sarem said.
This prompted a visit to Khoeum on the advice of a village fortuneteller, who told Saren her daughter was beset by “a black magic spell”.
“He [Khoeum] often asked the girl to go into the forest … to look for some plants or leaves that he thought could treat her illness,” Sovan said.
He added that the complaint alleges that Khoeum raped the girl five times over the course of two weeks while he was supposed to be treating her.
The girl’s mother realised something was amiss when she finally brought her home and noticed changes in behaviour including fear of others, not wanting to talk to anyone and attempts at running away from home.
Sarem has demanded $5,000 in compensation.