Battambang Provincial Court on Saturday charged a farmer over the rape and brutal murder of woman whose body he threw into a pond in the province’s Sangke district.
Major General Cheth Vanny, deputy provincial police chief, identified the accused as Chhon Chhan, 24, from the district’s Tapon commune. He was charged with murder accompanied by torture, cruelty or rape.
Maj Gen Vanny identified the victim as Chhorn Soeuth, 26, also a farmer in the commune.
“The accused has been sent to provincial prison pending trial,” he said. “He faces a life sentence in prison if convicted.”
Major Veng Sok Heng, a district police officer, said that at about 10am on Wednesday, Ms Soeuth was tending to cows in a rice field in the commune’s Svay Sar village. He noted that she was standing near a large pile of straw kept under a big tree.
Maj Sok Heng said that Mr Chhan, who lived in the area, grabbed her to rape her but she screamed for help.
“He became angry with the victim for refusing to have sex with him and for screaming,” he said. “He took a large piece of wood and struck her on the head, causing her to fall unconscious.”
“While she was unconscious, he raped her on the pile of straw and then beat her repeatedly until she died,” Maj Sok Heng added. He noted that after killing her, the accused threw the body into a nearby pond and fled the scene.
Maj Sok Heng said that at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, Ms Soeuth’s father went looking for her because she had not come home and found her body floating in the pond.
He immediately reported the matter to local police who found some clothes and shoes at the rape scene.
Maj Sok Heng said the father recognised the items and told police that his daughter had complained that Mr Chhan kept pestering her to have sex with him.
He added that police arrested the accused the next morning and during his interrogation, he admitted to the crime.
“He confessed that he killed Ms Soeuth because he was afraid that after she regained consciousness she would report the rape to her father or police,” he said.