Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rape victim waiting on justice after Covid delays

Rape victim waiting on justice after Covid delays

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The suspect, the victim's step-father, was arrested for rapping his step-daughter in Mondulkiri province. Police

Rape victim waiting on justice after Covid delays

A mother in Mondulkiri province has urged speedy legal proceedings against her partner who allegedly raped her daughter three years ago.

The push for a trial came after the court announced postponement of all cases in the wake of the February community outbreak of Covid-19

The mother, a resident of Putrom 4 village in Sen Monorom town’s Romnea district, told The Post on March 25 she had waited for too long to see justice done.

“On March 17, I and some witnesses went to the court to attend the hearing regarding case, but a court official told me all trials were temporarily postponed to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” she said, adding the official did not give a date for a resumption of the trial.

The woman said her daughter was raped by her 40-year-old partner, the girl’s step-father.

Provincial court spokesman Meas Pros told The Post the case was being handled as quickly as was possible.

“I think the victim and her mother should understand the current situation, in which we face high risk from Covid-19. The court will not dismiss the case, so just wait for the court to find justice after the Covid-19 situation has eased,” he said.

The woman said after her first husband died in 2011, she brought her 10-year-old daughter and six-year-old son to live in Phnom Penh, where she met the suspect and lived together as a couple.

She alleged that in late 2018, her partner raped her daughter twice while she was away to visit her hometown in Mondulkiri province. The suspect also allegedly threatened to kill both of her children if they told anyone about the rape.

In 2019, her whole family returned to Mondulkiri. She said the suspect had been drinking, arguing, destroying property and threatening to burn down the house on a daily basis ever since.

On one occasion, she said the man threatened to behead her daughter, but neighbours had intervened and stopped him.

“That was when she spoke out about what her step-father had done to her in Phnom Penh,” she said.

Shocked by the revelations, she and other villagers filed a complaint with the provincial police in May 2019, accusing the suspect of rape, domestic violence and destruction of property. She then petitioned for a divorce.

Reached by The Post for comment, the suspect denied the allegations. He said the criminal police bureau had called him in for questioning several times regarding the case and the court had also summoned him several times before the Covid-19 outbreak.

“If it was true I would have been locked up by the police already, not walking free until now,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the

  • Soaring global fuel prices: an opportunity for Cambodia?

    Cambodia is feeling the squeeze from the soaring global coal and oil prices. Electricity du Cambodge (EDC)would certainly be hurting from this reality, and most likely re-assessing its plans to add more coal power stations. EDC buys half of Cambodia’s electricity from plants

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when