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Chief monk accused in pagoda sex scandal

Chief monk accused in pagoda sex scandal

The chief monk of Damnak Thnung pagoda in Pursat province’s Bakan district has been accused of having sex with four novice monks, with around 500 families living near the pagoda demanding officials defrock him in retribution.

Ban Kok, a layman at Damnak Thnung pagoda in Khnar Totoeng commune, alleged yesterday that 50-year-old chief monk Huy Sovanaroth had sex with the four novice monks, aged between 11 an 29, after allegations surfaced last month on Visak Bochea Day.

Two of the victims filed complaints to Khnar Totoeng commune police on May 17 claiming that the monk had sex with them in exchange for money and goods. Ban Kok also said yesterday that, according to the victims’ complaint, in some cases sexual acts had occurred more than 10 times before the information was revealed to police.

Huy Sovanaroth refuted the allegations against him yesterday and said he planned to file a complaint against the layman because he has ruined his reputation.

“I did not have sexual intercourse – the pagoda Buddhist teacher envied me because I did not allow him to control the money in the pagoda, so he asked the novice monks to accuse me,” he said yesterday.

Pursat provincial monk chief Run Sophearin, said he would will hold an urgent meeting today with provincial monk officials in order to find a resolution.

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