Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court yesterday formally charged a mother and father with the illegal detention and prostitution of their 15-year-old daughter, court officials confirmed.
Earlier this week, allegations emerged that the girl was being kept as a virtual sex slave in her family’s home, where her parents had chained her legs to a bench to prevent her from escaping. Save
Despite the court charging the girl’s mother and father, the suspects are not being held in pre-trial detention and are back at home with their seven other younger children awaiting summonses from investigating judges.
“We do not send them to the prison because we see that her mother just had an operation and they have seven other children at home to look after,” Im Vannak, provincial court judge said, adding that the parents would have to report to police officials once a month while they are under court investigation.
“The girl also asked the court not to detain her parents because there will be no one to take care of her sisters and brothers, and she asked to stay at a crisis centre,” Vannak pointed out.
However Pin Phearum, an investigation official at the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, said that despite the girl asking for refuge in court, she now says she wants to stay with her parents.
“I do not understand about the girl, why she changed her mind,” he said, adding he was going to continue checking in with her in case she changed her mind again.
Provincial Adhoc coordinator Suom Chankea said he was concerned about the other seven children of the two child abuse suspects.
“We are worried about [the decision to] release them to stay outside the prison, and we are concerned about their other seven children who are staying in one family. We are not so trusting of the local officials to pay attention to these people,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]