RESIDENTS of a pagoda in Kandal province travelled to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday to demand the release of the pagoda's well-known committee director who has been arrested on suspicion of rape.
Ros Sarin, 56, also a layman at Ponhea Leu district's Wat Sovan Thormareach, was arrested Sunday by military police after they received complaints that he assaulted women who came to him for holy water, magic potions and advice about love.
He was formally charged on Tuesday along with his assistant, Hang Samoeun, with two counts of rape and debauchery, Sok Roeun, the court's deputy prosecutor said.
"These allegations [of sexual assault] are made up," said monk Sok Thearin, who has been living at the pagoda for nearly 10 years.
"As I know him, he is a holy man and has a good reputation for improving the pagoda, which receives lots donations from overseas," he added.
Military Police Chief Sao Sokha told the Post Tuesday that the men were arrested after authorities received a warrant from the court to interrogate them. He added that pornographic videos and energy drinks were seized from Ros Sarin's home.
"If the two men are found guilty of their charges, it would severely impact the Buddhist religion," he said.