Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - K Cham girl becomes latest victim in area’s gang rape epidemic

K Cham girl becomes latest victim in area’s gang rape epidemic

K Cham girl becomes latest victim in area’s gang rape epidemic

Kampong Cham has seen alarming increase in violent sex acts, local human rights workers say.

A SUSPECT in the rape and killing of a Khmer Muslim woman in Kampong Cham province remains in custody while police gather evidence for his trial.

Provincial police Chief Nuon Samin said Tuesday that a 36-year-old Cambodian man was arrested Sunday for allegedly raping and killing a 22-year-old woman last Saturday after finding her alone on a coffee farm in Tonloung commune.

“The suspect is being detained by the police, and we are now collecting more evidence to bring against him in court.”

Nuon Samin said that on Saturday morning the victim left home for a farm a kilometre away, where she is believed to have been attacked by the suspect sometime between 7am and 8am.

The victim’s parents became worried when she did not return home later that day.

“When her parents came to the farm that evening, they found her body stripped naked, with wounds around her neck,” Nuon Samin said.

“This was the second rape-murder in the province this month, after the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl,” he added.

Thov Chinda, provincial investigator for human rights group Adhoc, said Monday that in the first nine months of 2009, Adhoc recorded 20 rape cases in Kampong Cham, and that prior to this case, all of them were committed against girls under the age of 18.

“Rape is a very serious danger for girls in rural areas,” Thov Chinda said, adding that drugs and pornographic videos contributed to the perpetrators’ outbursts of sexual violence.

Nuon Samin said police in Kampong Cham handled six rape cases in September and agreed that incidents of rape were on the rise.

Just one week before the rape and murder of the most recent victim, an 11-year-old girl was gang-raped and killed by what is now believed to have been as many as 10 men. The alleged leader of the gang was a man who said he had fallen in love with the victim but thought himself too poor to marry her.

Both crimes occurred in rural areas of Kampong Cham and were committed in isolated locations close to the victims’ homes. In each case, the body of the victim was found by her family.

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