A Prey Veng Provincial Court investigative judge detained a traditional healer at a provincial prison on Sunday, after he was accused of raping a mentally-ill woman who sought treatment from him, in Svay Antor district’s Damrei Poun commune.
Provincial deputy police chief Preap Savy on Tuesday identified the accused as 69-year-old Meas Samoeun.
He told The Post that investigating Judge Ke Sophorn charged Samoeun under Article 241 of the Criminal Code for rape with aggravated circumstances and ordered his detention in prison pending disposal of his case.
“According to Article 241, if found guilty, Samoeun could be sentenced to a prison term of between seven and 17 years,” Savy said.
Svay Antor district police chief Ung Phan told The Post on Tuesday that the victim is a 29-year-old married woman suffering from mental illness.
He said about 10 days before Samoeun’s arrest, the victim’s mother had called him to drive away a demon that had possessed her daughter as she was always “dreamy”.
Phan said Samoeun told the victim’s mother not to allow anybody to enter the room during treatment and that if anyone saw what he was doing, the demon would not leave her body.
He said the victim was treated last Thursday, during which Samoeun required the mother to burn incense, and once this process was completed, she could enter the room to see the victim.
The mother was also told that if she did not wish to burn incense, she could make offerings to be buried. However, she was not allowed to dig the soil out with a hoe or dig a pit with it but only do so with a knife.
“We suspect Samoeun said these things to the mother to buy time and make it easier for him to commit the rape,” Phan said.
He said the mother witnessed Samoeun lying on her daughter. But she didn’t dare to question him or speak harshly as he had five knives with him.
“The mother said she was afraid that he would have stabbed her daughter to death. On Sunday, the mother lodged a report with the police, leading to Samoeun’s arrest,” he said.