The Siem Reap provincial police officer wanted for assaulting a one-year-old child in Preah Sihanouk province in a case that had gone viral on social media has been arrested.
The officer, Leakena Virak Rith, was apprehended at the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Police Academy in Treng Trayoeng commune of Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district.
Siem Reap provincial deputy police chief Duong Thavry said Virak Rith stands accused of assault against the one-year-old girl that resulted in multiple injuries.
“He was a Siem Reap provincial police officer who was taking a refresher course at the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Police Academy [and that’s] where we picked him up and now he’s on his way back to Siem Reap,” she said.
Thavry said the suspect admitted that he had done something to the girl but claimed he was being “affectionate”.
“He refused to talk about the reason. He keeps saying he loves the little girl. But looking at the scars on her [whatever he did] was not out of love for the girl and we consider it violence,” she said.
According to Thavry, the suspect may have assaulted the victim on more than one occasion – at least once in Krous village of Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune and possibly another time in Sihanoukville while they were visiting the coastal town.
She added that the victim’s mother was a widow who was in a relationship with the suspect and was living with him out-of-wedlock but with their parents’ acknowledgement.