A 73-year-old monk was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl over three months in Mondulkiri province. He has since been defrocked.

The Child Protection Unit (CPU) said the last assault took place on Saturday, the main day of the Pchum Ben festival.

Mondulkiri provincial police chief Lao Sokha told The Post on Wednesday that the suspect would be sent to the Mondulkiri Provincial Court on Thursday after police had finished questioning him.

Sokha said the girl’s father filed a complaint with local authorities alleging that the monk had raped his daughter on numerous occasions.

The complaint said the assaults took place while the victim accompanied her father to work at the pagoda where the monk stayed. The girl told her father after she had been raped multiple times, he added.

“We have arrested the suspect and specialist police are questioning him. We will send him to the Mondulkiri Provincial Court on Thursday. The victim is being looked after by the Child Protection Unit and the Mondulkiri social affairs department,” Sokha said.

CPU service chief Som Vathana said the victim was being cared for by her team after being examined as part of the investigation.

She said the victim seemed to coping well after her ordeal.

“We brought her to get care at the CPU and now she is safe because the monk has been arrested and the police are questioning him,” Vathana said.