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Officials seek to close Siem Reap orphanage after rape

Nguyen Rotha sits on a stool at a Siem Reap orphanage during a police investigation earlier this month after he was arrested for allegedly raping a child at the orphanage. CPU
Nguyen Rotha sits on a stool at a Siem Reap orphanage during a police investigation earlier this month after he was arrested for allegedly raping a child at the orphanage. CPU

Officials seek to close Siem Reap orphanage after rape

A Siem Reap orphanage is facing closure after police investigating a rape uncovered evidence of neglect and a missing child.

A 6-year-old resident of New Dream Children Centre in Prasat Bakong district’s Kandek commune was taken for treatment at Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital on August 5 after staff at the orphanage noticed she was bleeding from her genitals. A doctor at the hospital then informed the authorities, district police chief Min Chantha said yesterday.

It emerged the victim had been violently molested with a piece of wood and a joint investigative task force was established consisting of the provincial police, Interior Ministry, the Siem Reap department of social affairs, the provincial prosecutor’s office and anti-human trafficking police, as well as the deputy governor’s office and Phnom Penh-based NGO the Child Protection Unit (CPU).

A media release from the CPU, which examined the scene and victim with anti-human trafficking officials, said suspect Nguyen Rotha, 18, made a full confession on August 11 and led investigators back to the scene of the crime for a reenactment.

During the course of its investigation, the task force became aware that Bun Vit, a 9-year-old boy, had gone missing from the orphanage five weeks earlier, said provincial anti-human trafficking chief Doung Thavery.

The CPU said an application to close the facility had been made. A deputy provincial police chief speaking anonymously confirmed the application.

“They did not care for the children. We saw wounds on the children’s legs and the food was unhygienic,” they said.

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