An 18-year-old boy has been charged for having sex with a minor after disappearing with his 14-year-old girlfriend in Dangkor district.
The suspect was charged at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday and is currently being held in pre-trial detention as investigations into the case continue.
Second Lieutenant Meng Vuth, a penal police officer with Choeung Ek commune police, identified the accused as Ly Dichem, an 18-year-old construction worker living in a rental room in Roluos village in Dangkor district’s Choeung Ek commune.
The victim was a 14-year-old girl living in the same village as the accused.
Sec Lt Vuth said that the accused faces between five and 10 years in prison if convicted. He noted that Mr Dichem was arrested on Tuesday following a complaint lodged by the victim’s mother.
Sec Lt Vuth explained that Mr Dichem and the victim first met in 2018. They forged a relationship without telling their parents despite her being underage.
Sec Lt Vuth said the victim’s parents became worried when they could not locate their daughter on Sunday, even after searching for her at the homes of their daughter’s friends. The parents subsequently reported her disappearance to police.
Sec Lt Vuth said that a neighbour saw the victim on Tuesday morning and told the victim’s parents where their daughter had been staying. The victim’s mother, 39-year-old Lon Samphor, immediately went to find her daughter at the accused’s home that day.
“When the mother pushed the door open, she found her daughter having sex with the accused,” Sec Lit Vuth said. “The mother was very angry with them. She stopped them and brought her daughter to the local police and lodged a complaint against him and asked police to punish him in accordance with the law.”
Sec Lt Vuth added that the accused was arrested later that afternoon in his home based on the complaint lodged.
Colonel Chim Sitha, chief of Dangkor district police, said that Mr Dichem confessed to committing the offence. The accused also said that the victim was his girlfriend and that they had consensual sex.