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Robed suspect: Cops probing monk over alleged rape

Robed suspect: Cops probing monk over alleged rape

Srel Vanna, a monk who was defrocked after claims emerged of a sexual affair with a young woman, is now being investigated by Banteay Meachey provincial police for rape, allegations he denies.

The police probe stems from a complaint filed by the woman on Wednesday, after she claimed she was raped by Vanna, said Seth Los, the provincial police chief.

Los said that in the complaint, the victim is demanding $50,000 from Vanna, who was the chief monk at the Phnom Bakleu pagoda.

On Wednesday, local commentator Pheng Vannak hosted a Facebook Live broadcast from the family home of Vanna, where the monk’s face could be seen. When asked, Vanna said “the rape did not happen”.

Prak Sophorth, deputy head of the provincial Cults and Religion Department, said his office had concluded work on the case after a committee of monks decided to defrock Vanna.

Despite no longer having a role to play in the case, Sophorth offered a bit of unorthodox advice.

“Vanna should find elders to perform a traditional engagement ceremony for the couple,” he said.

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