Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First arrest made in gang-rape case

First arrest made in gang-rape case

First arrest made in gang-rape case

A 21-year-old man was being held in military police custody last night, accused of taking part in the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman in the capital’s Russey Keo district on Saturday night, officials said.

Khen Vanna, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Military Police’s investigating department, said officers arrested the man, from Koh Dach commune in Russey Keo, yesterday after a full day of investigation.

“There are four more suspects whom police are searching for,” he said.

The victim, from Kampong Cham province, had identified the man as one of her attackers, he added. Police have detained him in custody, but charges are yet to be laid.

The arrest came as district police yesterday released three others detained on Sunday and questioned at length over the attack.

Tep Vandina, deputy chief of Koh Dach commune, said the victim had been shown a photo of the three suspects, but had not recognised them.

“Based on the victim’s answers, we detained three suspects, aged 17 to 20 . . . but the victim saw their picture and said it wasn’t them,” he said.

The woman was gang-raped near Koh Dach Port as she waited to return to Kampong Cham province after arriving in Phnom Penh the day before to meet her boyfriend.

Police have said five men confronted her as she went to a secluded spot to urinate in bushes.

The attackers tied her hands, covered her mouth and raped her until she was unconscious. Police believe she was also drugged during the ordeal, which lasted hours.

She was taken to hospital the next morning, where she received treatment, and was later taken back to her home province by her mother.

Neang Sovath, Kampong Cham provincial co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, said his office will investigate the issue.

He also encouraged police to do everything in their power to arrest the rapists.

“Police have to punish those responsible,” he said.

Ek Sereyvuth, chief of Russey Keo police, said police would continue to investigate.

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