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Manhunt ongoing for cop accused of assaulting toddler

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A one-year old baby girl was assaulted causing serious injuries in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk. POLICE

Manhunt ongoing for cop accused of assaulting toddler

Siem reap provincial police are searching for an officer suspected of violently assaulting a toddler, causing serious injuries, in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.

Siem Reap police chief Teng Channath identified the suspect as Leakhena Virakrith, an officer with the enterprise management and private security unit under the provincial police’s Private Security Management Bureau.

He said Virakrith – who lives in Slor Kram commune’s Chong Kaosou village of Siem Reap town’s Slor Kram commune – allegedly assaulted the one-year-old girl in Sihanoukville.

He said the girl’s mother filed a complaint with the provincial police on March 21, demanding compensation for mental anguish and legal action against the officer.

The police chief said that as of March 22 authorities had not found the suspect and therefore unable to determine the cause of the violence.

“We have received the complaint and met with the mother. She demanded compensation and legal action, but obviously until we question the suspect, we cannot speak to the facts,” he said.

Channath said this kind of violence may be a misdemeanor charge, which could result in imprisonment of between two and five years, and monetary fines.

Kim Chhean, deputy head of the Violence Against Children working group in Siem Reap province, said they were investigating the case and had met with the mother.

He said this is the first case that his working group has encountered where a policeman had used violence against an infant. Normally, these crimes take place within families, he added.

“He is a figure of authority. If he used violence against a child, he does not understand the rights of children. He may not understand that his role as a police officer is to protect the public,” he said.

The Post could not contact the victim’s mother, or the suspect, for comment on March 22.

On her Facebook, the mother posted pictures of her child which showed bruising to her face, ears and arms. She also expressed her sadness.

“How could he do this? What could she have done wrong? She knows nothing at this age,” she wrote.

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