The Kratie provincial court on Thursday charged a man for allegedly raping his 10-year-old step-daughter after arresting him in Snuol district on Tuesday.
Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit deputy chief Keo Chanthy said the 37-year-old man was charged with “rape with aggravating circumstances” under Article 241 of the Criminal Code. He faces up to 15 years in jail for the rape of “a person who is particularly vulnerable by reason of his or her age”.
“The accused step-father was charged and sent before an investigative judge for further action after police sent him to the court,” he said, adding that the suspected crime came to light after an NGO visited the alleged victim’s community to educate residents on health issues.
Chanthy said that the NGO staffers brought the girl to his office to file a police complaint after she “accidentally revealed” that she had been raped while being interviewed about an illness.
Acting on the complaint, police launched an investigation and questioned the girl, who recounted the rape to police. Soon after, police officials interrogated the father and he confessed that he had raped her on multiple occasions, according to Chanthy.
Chanthy said that the man had two daughters and became widowed after his first wife died from an illness. Later, he married another widow and took on her two daughters from a previous marriage as well.
He said the alleged rapes occurred when the mother left the girl under the care of the step-father when she went to work in a plantation.
Snuol district police chief Chan Sokhim said on Thursday that the alleged victim had not come forward on her own out of fear for her safety.
“We questioned the girl and she said if she told her mother that he [the step-father] had raped her, he would kill her,” he said.