Burma

Toddler Rape Victim Identifies Two Teenage Culprits

By Moe Moe 15 August 2019

NAYPYITAW—On Wednesday, in the much-watched trial of a toddler’s rape in the Myanmar capital of Naypyitaw, the prosecution presented a video recording of the victim saying she was sexually assaulted by two teenage brothers. 

The girl, 2 years and 11 months old at the time of crime, is alleged to have been sexually assaulted at the Wisdom Hill private school in Naypyitaw’s Zabuthiri Township on May 16.

Ko Aung Kyaw Myo, a.k.a. Aung Gyi—the school supervisor’s 29-year-old driver—had initially been arrested and released in June with insufficient evidence to charge him, but was arrested again in early July and charged with rape. 

Many believe Aung Gyi is being scapegoated, while speculation spread on social media that the girl was assaulted by the two sons of a teacher.

“[In the video], she said Ko Ko and Nyi Nyi [the Burmese terms for elder and younger brothers] did it to me,” Daw Su Darli Aung, the lawyer defending Aung Gyi, told reporters after the trial. 

In the video, the victim’s uncle showed her photos of Ma Hnin Nu, a teacher and prosecution witness alleged to have provided cover to the rapist; Ko Ko and Nyi Nyi, the two teenage sons of teacher Daw Ohmar Hlaing; and Aung Gyi. 

Asked who’d assaulted her, the girl, now 3, points to the photos of Ko Ko and Nyi Nyi with a pencil and says they did. Daw Su Darli Aung told reporters the victim did not recognize Aung Gyi.

“In the video file, she said she wanted to kill [the two]. She stuck [the photos] with the pencil, and asked her father to kick [the photos of the two],” Daw Su Darli said. 

The court accepted the video as evidence Wednesday. 

The trial’s fourth session lasted for seven hours, with lawyers from both sides cross-examining the victim’s father. 

The father said he’d been told by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) that sperm had been found in his daughter’s vagina and that he believed his daughter would have suffered more serious injuries if raped by a man of Aung Gyi’s age.

The father also said he did not know that Daw Ohmar Hlaing had two sons, but a CID inspector had previously testified that investigators told the father during investigations that the teacher had two sons—one in the tenth and one in the eighth grade—that often visit her at work.

“I was saddened by the victim’s father’s testimony at the court. He was dutiful as a parent,” said U Aung Soe, a lawyer that attended the trial as an observer. 

The next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28, when the victim’s grandmother will testify. All hearings, which will include 26 prosecution witnesses, are expected to be completed by the second week of December.

The victim will testify through video conference on September 11, according to the Dekkhinathiri District Court.

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