Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Today, a 19 year-old Cambodian man was charged with sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl after police gathered enough evidence against him. The investigation was assisted by child protection organization APLE and revealed that he had lured the girl to a rented house and sexually abused her.
The mother of the victim became aware only after her daughter went missing for two days and she eventually found her daughter in a rented room in Sihanoukville. The daughter initially disclosed that she had been staying with the man, whom the girl claimed was her boyfriend. The mother then reported suspicion of the girl being abused to APLE whose investigators were able to identify the suspect and assisted the police collect proof.
Khoem Vando, Deputy Director at APLE, said about the arrest:
“I’m satisfied with swift action by police and complements their high-quality investigation in this case. We will make sure that the victim receives all the support she needs to recover from the abuse she has suffered. In addition, we will support both the victim and her family during the legal proceedings as they request.”
APLE is working closely with the police to support their work; however, APLE’s greatest priority is preventing abuse and protecting victims. In this case, APLE has offered legal counseling to the girl and her family to help them understand her rights and possible actions to take. The girl’s mother expressed her relief that the suspect was arrested and determination to seek justice on behalf of her daughter.
Last year, four offenders in APLE cases were convicted for sexual intercourse with a minor less than fifteen years of age. Three of these offenders were Cambodian nationals.