Top Monk Charged with Raping 16 Year Old Girl in Nakhon Sawan
NAKOK SAWAN – Pol Maj Wicharn Sribanthao has reported that an abbot of temple Wat Khao Leb-nga in tambon Nong Klab of Nakhon Sawan’s Nong Bua district has been expelled from the monk-hood for sexually abusing a 16 year old girl.
Abbot Phra Wirat and his junior monk Phra Ret face charges of raping the 16-year-old girl after Pol Maj Wicharn Sribanthao led a team of police armed with a court warrant to arrest the abbot at his monastic quarters on Wednesday night.
Phra Wirat repeatedly denied the allegation, claiming he had been maligned by a group of villagers over the issue of temple donations. He said the villagers had asked the teenager to make false allegations against him.
He told police he would fight the charge to the end and would not leave the monk-hood.
However, police insisted they had firm evidence against him, including confessions by his assistant Ret, who implicated the abbot in sexual abuse. The embattled abbot could not refute this and later agreed to expulsion, police said.
He was being held in police custody pending legal action.
A junior Buddhist monk told the Bangkok Post that the abbot and two monks close to him drank alcohol in the temple grounds every evening. The abbot demanded junior monks buy liquor and beer for him at a nearby grocery store and would scold or beat those who refused to do as he asked.
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