A teenager was arrested in Kampot on Saturday for attempting to rape and kill a developmentally challenged 14-year-old girl, according to police.
Chhun Chhin, Teuk Chhou district police chief, said that police arrested the 15-year-old suspect, who lives in Trapaing Pring commune, in a nearby cave where he had fled after attempting to rape the girl and, upon failing, slashed her three times with a knife – twice in the neck and once in her thigh.
According to police, the 14-year-old victim was attacked in a rice field in Ang village on Saturday afternoon, and the suspect was arrested later that night.
“We tried to arrest the suspect during daytime, but he ran into the cave and we just waited at the entrance,” he said. “We did not go inside because . . . the suspect had a knife with him.”
James McCabe, director of the Child Protection Unit, said the victim remained “in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries” and hadn’t regained consciousness yet.
“The reason given for the attempted murder was he tried to rape her unsuccessfully and then thought he had to kill her to hide his identity,” he said.
He added that the victim was deaf and mute, and only had the mental capacity of a young child, making her more vulnerable.
District Police Chief Chhin said that police had to prevent a mob from beating the suspect to death.
“People got furious,” he said, adding that police had sent the suspect to the district police station for further interrogation.
Additional reporting by Leonie Kijewski