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Pagoda sex assault: Three monks held over alleged rape

A trio of Buddhist monks was arrested on Friday and charged on Saturday with the rape of two teenage girls at a pagoda in Svay Rieng Province’s Svay Tiep district Deputy chief for the provincial police Colonel Hem Saban identified the monks as Khan Vanak, 24, Toun Sokea, 22, and Nauv Touth, 21, who lived at the Chumpou Proek Sa Pagoda in the Sangkhor commune.

He said that on Thursday night, the two teenage victims, 15 and 17, were lured out of a celebration for Water Festival at the pagoda.

“While they were sitting on the gates of the stupa near the burial ground, they were caught by the monks and forcibly raped. Their activities were seen by one of the victim’s fathers, who was looking for them [the victims],” the deputy chief said.

The monks fled back into their rooms at the pagoda, and the father of the victim filed a complaint with local police.

On Friday, almost 200 villagers gathered at the pagoda and demanded the arrest of the three monks.

The deputy chief said that upon the arrest of the suspects on Friday, all three were defrocked and expelled from the pagoda.

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