Police in Preah Vihear province are looking for a 62-year-old man accused of luring five girls to his farm and raping them.
The allegations emerged when parents and guardians of the children, aged between 7 and 12, filed complaints with the human rights group Adhoc.
Keo Chamroeun, provincial deputy police chief, said officers viewed the complaints, interviewed the victims and intend to arrest the suspect.
The problem is that investigators can’t find him.
“The victims’ families argued with the suspect and threatened to sue him, so he knew that police would come to arrest him and he escaped,” he said.
Lor Chann, a coordinator for Adhoc in Preah Vihear, said the rapes occurred on different occasions from March through May. The girls thought they were going there for work.
“The suspect took the girls to his plantation to clear grass for some money and food and raped every one of them,” said Lor Chann, a coordinator for Adhoc in Preah Vihear.
Duong Theit, 47, said yesterday that four of the girls involved are members of her family.
It was her mute granddaughter who first described what the man did to her.
“She told me through her gestures [about what happened],” she said.
The other girls explained that the suspect threatened to have them arrested if they told anyone about the rapes.
The families demanded compensation from the suspect and filed complaints with Adhoc.
To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]