A 43-year-old lawyer was arrested after he allegedly raped an under-age boy in a guesthouse in Siem Reap’s Svay Dangkum commune last Sunday.
Doung Thavery, chief of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police, told the Post that agents from child-protection group Action pour les Enfants (APLE) had seen the alleged pedophile approach the 16-year-old boy and tipped the police off.
When the police raided the room, they found the suspect, Mao Tang Eam, and the boy, as well as a tube suspected to contain lubricating jelly.
The man travelled specifically to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh to commit the crime, said Thavery.
“He tried to persuade the boy, brought him to a guesthouse and raped him,” he added.
The police have submitted the case to the Siem Reap Provincial Court, which decided to let Tang Eam stay out of prison due to “prevailing health conditions”.
A statement issued by APLE said the group was disappointed by the release of the Tang Eam. It said: “Suspects… should not be released from police detention until a prosecutor has decided to file charges, this is to prevent suspects from fleeing before a decision is made.”
Siem Reap Provincial Court prosecutor Ty Soveinthal said that investigations are ongoing and prosecutors are trying to gather more evidence.
“The case is still under investigation, but I decided to release him because of illness and we need to find more proof,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]