A senior police official in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday revealed that Meang Vichet, the man accused of raping and killing a 10-year-old girl and killing her two-year-old brother, had a history of violence.
On May 29, the bodies of 10-year-old Pha Srey Leak and her two-year-old brother Pha Sok Ly were found in bloody pools at their home in Prey Nop district’s Bit Traing commune.
National Police on Sunday arrested Mr Vicheat, 26, and his wife Sam Soriya, 26, at their home in Prey Veng province’s Mesang district. Mr Vicheat is accused of raping and killing the girl and killing the boy.
The police official, who declined to be named, said “the suspect has revealed that since he was about 15 or 16 years of age, he used to try to rape young girls in his home province of Prey Veng but was unsuccessful and fled his village.”
Major General Chuon Narin, chief of Preah Sihanouk provincial police, yesterday confirmed that the suspect confessed to attempting to sexually assault other victims in the past when questioned by police.
“He is a brutal person, he attempted to rape girls several times in the past,” Maj Gen Narin said.
According to a police report obtained by Khmer Times yesterday, Mr Vichet has confessed that on the morning of May 29, he bought drugs and alcohol near O’Chhoeuteal beach in Sihanoukville.
The report noted that Mr Vichet then consumed the drugs and alcohol at his home in Bit Traing commune.
“After drinking, he exited his home to look for his wife who went to buy him food and saw the kids playing outside of their home,” the report said. “After seeing an opportunity, he held the girl’s hand and led her into her home and told the boy to stay outside.”
“As he was raping her, the girl shouted and the boy went inside to check on his sister,” the report added. “He cried and the suspect slapped him six times and kicked him in the neck, causing his head to hit the wall.”
The report said that at about 2pm, the suspect met his wife as she was on her way home and told her what happened.
Mr Vichet then persuaded Ms Soriya to run away with him to his hometown in Prey Veng’s Mesang district, where they stayed until they were arrested on June 2, the report noted.
Maj Gen Narin said police were planning to bring Mr Vichet to re-enact the crime yesterday, but decided not to do so because hundreds of residents were waiting outside the victims’ home to take justice into their own hands.
“We will not have him re-enact it because we have seen a lot of public anger so we are trying to avoid an incident from happening,” Maj Gen Narin said.
Video footage uploaded on Facebook that went viral yesterday showed hundreds of people waiting outside of the victims’ home in order to take revenge on the suspect during the re-enactment.
“We are waiting to see the brutal killer, we will come with stones,” one man said in the footage.
Maj Gen Narin said that the public should understand police are working to have the suspect prosecuted.
“Our police officers are preparing paperwork to send the suspect to court,” Maj Gen Narin said. “His wife, too, because she tried to hide the crime.”
Colonel Hem Bunna, chief of the Interior Ministry’s serious crime department, yesterday confirmed that the couple was handed to Preah Sihanouk provincial police on Sunday night after they were questioned at the ministry.
When asked whether Ms Soriya was involved in the crime, Col Bunna said it is up to the court.
“We don’t have the right to determine whether his wife was involved or not because that’s the court’s decision to make,” he said.