UDON THANI – Phra Pongpan Wisuttho a senior monk at Wat Yothanimit at Ban Dong Wat has left the monk-hood in disgrace after a 19 year old girl was found in his monastic room in the early hours of Thursday.
Police went to Wat Yothanimit at Ban Dong Wat community on Thaharn Road in tambon Mak Khaeng following a complaint that Phra Pongpan Wisuttho often took young women into his room to sleep with him.
Local residents accompanied police to inspect his room and when they arrived at the monk’s living quarters they found his room was locked, but the light was still turned on. Shortly afterwards the light was switched off. Police knocked on the door and waited until Phra Pongpan emerged some time later.
Inside the room they found a frightened 19-year-old woman, a student at a vocational college in the province, Khaosod Online reported on Thursday.
Police took the monk and the woman to Muang district police station for questioning.
Phra Pongpan, 55, told police he was a sergeant major in the military before entering the monk-hood. He had stayed at the temple for 16 years, since 1999, and had been appointed secretary to the tambon Na Kha chief monk, he said.
He claimed the student was a girlfriend of his son, who was a military conscript in Chon Buri. His son was the jealous type and had often quarreled with her. The young woman had come to consult him and asked to stay in his room. She always went to college in the morning, the monk said.
He insisted he had not had sex with her, but admitted he acted improperly in allowing her to stay in his room.
The monk said he would voluntarily leave the monk-hood if local people saw his actions as being wrong, said Pol Lt Col Charnarong Makpisut, the Muang district police chief.
The young woman also denied being sexually involved with the monk. She said she only came to consult him as her boyfriend had other girls. Her house was far away so she asked to sleep in his room.
She asked for leniency, saying she was still studying and did not want to have a record for allegedly sleeping in the monk’s room. She was later released.
Police said local residents complained the monk often took young women to his room at night and that they left before dawn. Most of the visitors were students.