Rape Charges Against Banteay Meanchey Village Official Proceeds to Court

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The Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, in a photo posted to Facebook by the court.
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Banteay Meanchey officials have forwarded allegations of rape against a deputy village chief to the provincial court, a local official said Wednesday.

A family has accused Techo Phnom Chhat deputy village chief Sok Bunny of raping their 14-year-old daughter in February. The girl informed her mother of the alleged rape in July and a complaint was filed in August with the village chief.

The girl was taken to a local hospital for a medical examination last week, and Vang Sokchea, the girl’s mother, said on Wednesday that she had submitted testimony from her daughter that could be used alongside the results of the medical examination.

“I sued [Bunny] a few days ago in court with evidence along with the results of the examination. But, I don’t know when the court will take up my daughter’s case,” Sokchea said.

Deputy village chief Sok Bunny could not be reached on Wednesday.

Village chief Kao Buntheoun said he could not reveal the results of the investigation but had forwarded the case to the police and court.

“Now the case has already been passed to the provincial police and the court. A village chief only arranges and sends all the complaints to the provincial [level],” Buntheoun said. “Currently, Bunny is still working normally in the village.”

Lay Kimloun, an anti-trafficking and child protection officer in Banteay Meanchey, confirmed that the case had been signed off by an official and was sent to the court.

Sokchea alleges the rape occured when she and her husband were away in Thailand. Bunny had given the daughter 50,000 riel to not report the incident, she has alleged, but had noticed her daughter was withdrawn and found out about the alleged rape in July.

At the same time, Bunny has sued Sokchea for public defamation unrelated to the rape charges, including that he was accused by Sokchea of of taking the girl’s phone and blocking the Facebook account of her boyfriend.

Sokchea said she went to court on Wednesday for questioning in the defamation case and was asked by the court to sign a document confessing to the charges, but she left the court.

“I said I did not know anything. They forced me to give a thumbprint, but I did not thumbprint any paper. I refused.”

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