Boray district governor says alleged rapists responsible will face the law, rejects traditional cash compensation for victim.
Rights group Adhoc's provincial monitor Kun Sitha said that as of Tuesday, she has received two complaints of rape in the Baray district area of Kampong Thom this year. She added that both of the cases are now under investigation.
FIVE men face criminal charges following the rape of a 29-year-old woman Friday in Kompong Thom's Baray district, with local authorities vowing to use the law - rather than the traditional practice of cash compensation - to resolve the case.
"It is a criminal rape case, which cannot be excused or resolved by paying compensation," said Soeun Sat, governor of Kampong Thom's Baray district on Tuesday.
Kry Sarith, deputy police chief of Baray's Chhouk Khsach commune, told the Post Tuesday that five men were being charged in connection with the case, adding that police filed a complaint to the court Monday requesting further investigation.
The rape occurred in Chhouk Khsach commune at around 11pm Friday evening as two sisters were walking home from the main road - a distance of about five kilometres, Kry Sarith said.
"While they were walking home they ran into five men on an old motorbike who stopped and offered to take them home," Kry Sarith said.
"The girls declined the lift, but later, the men split up and ambushed them," he said.
The elder of the two girls was raped by three of the five attackers, he said, while her younger sister managed to run to safety and alert their village chief, who intervened and called the authorities.
One man was arrested at the scene of the crime, while the other four were apprehended the following day, Kry Sarith said.
"I have interrogated the five men and only three of them admitted that they raped the women. The other two men claim they were only accomplices, so I have filed the case to the Baray district police chief for further investigation," Kry Sarith said.
It is a criminal rape case, which cannot be excused... by paying compensation.
Baray district Governor Soeun Sat said he was pleased with the police investigation and wanted the five men to be tried in court.
"We are fighting to stop rape cases like this and we will send all the perpetrators to court to be punished according to the law," he said.
Local monitor for rights group Adhoc, Kun Sitha, said the attitude of the local authorities was to be applauded, helping to end the traditional practice of resolving rape cases with cash payments.
"I welcome the local authorities' actions in arresting and sending the perpetrators to court to be punished, which is a good sign that they are cracking down on the habit of solving rape cases by compensation."
She said Adhoc would be conducting an investigation into the case to help provide legal support to the victim.