Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008 Offbeat

Buddhist Monk Captured After Raping British Tourist at a Temple


Cambodian police arrested a Buddhist monk who is suspected of raping a British tourist that he guided to a temple located on top of a mountain.

The 17-year-old Thorn Sophoan, confessed to committing the crime. Mey Chhengly, police chief of Battambang Province situated in Northwest Cambodia, stated that the young man has been disrobed and he is no longer the resident of the temple.

The police said that the victim wanted to visit a temple located on top of the Phnom Sam Pov mountain. When she came to the police station after the assault, officers said that the woman had been trembling.

Police inspector mentioned that when the woman arrived to Cambodia and wanted to look around the region, the monk quickly made friends with her. Shortly after the police arrested Sophoan, he admitted of raping the woman. After senior monks found out about the assault, the monk was instantly defrocked. If he is found guilty of rape, the monk could spend up to 25 years in prison, reported Daily Mail.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of young people in Cambodia decide to become monks because of poverty that predominates in the country, but not all of them fully dedicate their lives to the clergy. There are a lot of monks walking around Cambodian tows with pots to gather alms to pay for the food they eat at the temple.

A lot of tourists from the West enjoy paying a visit to the country, despite the warning of Cambodia officials who say that it is still not safe in the country, where robberies take place quite often. In October, four men were jailed for killing a 37-year-old British mine expert Christopher Howes. In January of 2007 a monk at the famous Angkor Wat ruins was immediately defrocked after he molested an 8-year-old French girl. In August of the same year another monk was arrested and accused of sexual assault and murder of a 10-year-old Cambodian girl.

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