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Two busted for alleged rape, detention of girl

Two private security guards will be sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court today after being arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of raping a child, police said yesterday.

According to Sreng Hong, chief of the municipal anti-human trafficking police, the 11-year-old victim entered the For You cafe in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmey 2 on July 3 at around 9pm after losing her mother upon arrival in the capital from their hometown in Kampong Cham province.

Suspects Nong Vichet, 40, from Battambang province, and Kuoy Bunthoeun, 36, of Prey Veng, who both worked as cafe security guards, told the girl to wait with them for her mother. They instead took her to a nearby rental room where they detained and raped her, Hong said.

“After receiving the complaint, with permission from the prosecutor of the municipal court, the authorities called the suspects for questioning,” he said. “An arrest was made on July 30.”

According to Hong, the suspects inadvertently enabled the girl’s escape when they left her alone in the room the next morning to go to work.

“After detaining the girl for one night … Vichet bought [breakfast] for her and locked her in the room,” Hong said, adding that the girl was able to remove the wire that the suspects allegedly used as a makeshift lock. She then fled to her aunt’s house, where she was reunited with her mother.

After receiving a complaint and legal coordination from Kul Bun, deputy prosecutor of Phnom Penh Municipal Court, police questioned the suspects and detained them. Though the suspects denied the charges, Bun said that a medical examination revealed that the girl had suffered vaginal injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

The suspects’ denials of the charges, he added, bordered on the nonsensical.

“The suspects denied raping her.… If they were good people, why didn’t they bring her to look for her mother? Why did they lock her up?” Bun said.

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