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‘Pedophile monk’ faces court

A monk who allegedly sexually assaulted three underaged girls in Battambang town on Sunday will appear in court after the relatives of the girls filed a complaint to police.

The monk, Phan Thorng Sovannaroth, 31, is accused of luring the three girls – aged between 7 and 11 – to a secluded room at about 3pm on Sunday, where he allegedly committed the offences.

Chet Vanny, Battambang provincial deputy police chief, said Thorng Sovannaroth, who resides at Kontuy Kropeur Pagoda in Battambang’s Banon district, was defrocked following the parents’ complaints.

“The suspect is being questioned, and [he] will be sent to the provincial court no later than Tuesday, but we will not detain the suspect for more than two days, in accordance with the detention procedure. But he will be sent to the court for further processing,” he said.

He added that, if Thorng Sovannaroth is found guilty, the suspect would be punished in accordance with Cambodia’s child protection laws.

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