Kratie Provincial Court on Saturday charged a man suspected of sexually assaulting four minors under his care at his home in Prek Brasob commune.
Colonel Nouv Ratana, chief of the provincial anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, yesterday identified the suspect as Eng Limeng, a farmer from Prek Brasob Kandal village in Prek Brasob district.
Col Ratana said the victims were the suspect’s nieces aged between 12 and 17.
He said the suspect was charged by the court with rape with aggravating circumstances after he was arrested on Wednesday.
The suspect is now in pre-trial detention. If convicted, the suspect faces up to 15 years in prison.
Captain Yoeun Chanheav, chief of commune police, yesterday said victims lived with the suspect and his wife because they come from impoverished homes and their parents were single mothers.
He added the victims were sent by their mothers to live with the suspect’s wife so the victims can work at a rubber plantation in the district and help earn a living for their families.
“According to the investigation, the victims began living there in 2013,” Cap Chanheav said. “The suspect raped them on several occasions while they were home alone.”
“After each incident, the suspect told the victims not to tell his wife or their mothers. He threatened to kill them if they told,” Cap Chanheav added. “The victims did not dare to tell their mothers because they feared that they would be killed.”
Cap Chanheav noted that it all changed when the suspect was caught by his 17-year-old niece as he was assaulting the 12-year-old on Monday.
The four then left the suspect’s home and told their mothers about the alleged crime.
The victims’ mothers then filed a complaint at the commune police post, noting that the suspect was arrested two days later.
“During police interrogation, the suspect admitted to committing sexual assault on the victims,” Cap Chanheav said. “He said he raped the 12-year-old and the other three victims on separate occasions at his home. He said he regretted his mistakes.”
According to Brigadier General Sum Khim, deputy chief of provincial police, the victims were rescued and sent to temporary shelter at the provincial rehabilitation centre.