(CAAI News Media)
Ten Cambodian men have been charged in connection with the death of a 13-year-old girl who was beaten unconscious, raped, stabbed and tossed in a potato field, prosecutors said Friday.
"This is the most brutal crime I had ever seen," said Moung Sarin, a prosecutor from the Kampong Cham provincial court in eastern Cambodia, who said he is seeking a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for all 10. "This cannot be tolerated."
The girl's parents reported her missing Saturday and police found her body the next day in a potato field behind her home in a farming village near the Mekong River in Kampong Cham, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of the capital, Phnom Penh.
She had been stabbed 12 times and her throat was slashed, said Sok Chhien, chief of the local police force.
The suspected attackers, aged between 18 and 23, were members of a village gang, some of whom were the girl's neighbors, Sok Chhien said.
The men, who were arrested over the past few days, were arraigned Thursday. Four were charged with raping and murdering the girl and six were charged with working as accomplices, he said. Police are still searching for three more suspects.
During questioning, the men admitted to first beating the girl unconscious and then taking her body to a secluded spot where they raped her and then killed her, Sok Chhien said.