Takeo Provincial Court yesterday charged a 40-year-old farmer with murder accompanied by rape over a fatal attack on a nine-year-old girl whom he allegedly strangled dead before dumping her body in a pond in his village.
The rape-murder took place on December 3 at about 1pm at a cottage in Prey Kabbas district’s Champar commune.
Provincial police chief Major General Sok Samnang identified the accused as Yen Thy, a farmer living in Choumpou Proeksar village who was arrested on Monday in the commune.
Maj Gen Samnang said the accused was yesterday charged by the provincial court with murder accompanied by rape and faces a life sentence if convicted. He added that the accused has been jailed pending trial.
Major Seng Soeun, deputy chief of Prey Kabbas district police, said the accused confessed during his interrogation at the police station.
Maj Soeun said that according to the accused, on the morning of December 3 at about 7.30am the victim followed her grandmother to work in a rice field on the outskirts of the village.
Majo Soeun noted that at about 12pm, the grandmother ventured home to get food for the two of them and left the girl alone in a cottage on the farmland.
He said that when the accused spotted the victim alone, he came to the cottage and raped her.
“He confessed that he committed sexual abuse on her and raped her because he wanted to have sex,” he said. “He also confessed that he then killed her because she loudly shouted for help while he was raping her.”
“He was also fearful that she would report the rape,” he added. “He choked her until she died. After killing her, he took the body from the cottage and disposed of it in a pond nearby the rice field.”
He noted that the body was later found by the grandmother, who then alerted local police.
Police then began an investigation and were able to apprehend the accused on Monday when he returned to the village to visit his wife after hiding since the day of the murder.