Prey Veng Provincial Court on Monday charged and jailed a farmer over the rape-murder of a nine-year-old girl last month.
Major Nuon Kimsreng, deputy chief of Sithor Kandal district police, identified the accused as Phlong Hokly, a 35-year-old farmer living in Lvea commune.
Maj Kimsreng said that the victim was a nine-year-old girl who lived with her grandfather in the same village as the accused.
Maj Kimsreng said that the accused was charged with rape with aggravating circumstances and premeditated murder, noting that he faces up to a life sentence if convicted.
Maj Kimsreng said the accused was arrested on Saturday and is currently in pre-trial detention.
He noted that at about 9pm on May 22, the accused persuaded the victim to come with him to catch frogs in the rice fields in the village.
“But he brought the victim to a quiet place far away from the village, he held her down and raped her,” Maj Kimsreng said. “After raping her, he was afraid that the victim would tell her grandfather or other people of the rape, so he killed her by strangling her.”
Maj Kimsreng added that after killing the victim, the accused threw her body in a pond. He noted that the accused tied two pieces of wood to the victim’s body to ensure that the body would not float.
Maj Kimsreng said the accused returned home afterwards and pretended to not know anything.
He noted that after the victim disappeared, the victim’s grandfather alerted police. A villager later found the victim’s body floating in the pond on May 24.
Maj Kimsreng said the accused was arrested by district police on Saturday in his home.
He was arrested based on a piece of evidence in the form of a t-shirt, which was left near the scene of the crime. The victim’s grandfather recognised the t-shirt, which was often worn by the accused when visiting their home.
After the arrest, the accused admitted committing the crime.