Siem Reap Provincial Court on Saturday charged a transgender person who allegedly set a nine-year-boy on fire, causing serious burns, in Puok district on Friday after he allegedly stole $2.50 from his shop.
Brigadier General Phoeng Chendareth, provincial deputy police chief, yesterday identified the accused as Tem Moeuth, 39, a grocer living in Reul commune.
He identified the victim as Puon Bin, who studies at a primary school in the commune.
Brig Gen Chendareth said that the accused was charged with intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstance and faces up to five years in jail if convicted. He noted that Mr Moeuth was arrested in Friday and is now in prison pending trial.
Brig Gen Chendareth said the victim, at about 11am on Friday, entered the accused’ grocery shop and stole about $2.50 from a drawer.
He said Mr Moeuth caught him, stripped him and set him ablaze after pouring gasoline on him.
“He was angry with the victim for entering and stealing $2.50 from his shop,” Brig Gen Chendareth said. “He caught him, poured gasoline on him and set him ablaze.”
“The victim suffered serious burns on the neck, both hands, right leg and chest,” he added.
Brig Gen Chendareth said neighbours heard the boy’s screams and entered the shop to intervene.
He added that the victim was sent to Jayavarman VII Hospital in the province for treatment.
Brig Gen Chendareth said that after setting the boy on fire, the accused ran from the shop but was arrested by commune police at about 9.30 pm on Friday in the district.
Captain Sok Sokun, district police chief of staff, yesterday said that the boy is still in critical condition in the hospital.