Elderly Monk Charged With Rape of 9-Year-Old Girls

The Battambang Provincial Court on Friday charged and jailed a recently ordained 68-year-old monk for allegedly raping two 9-year-old girls multiple times in his room at a pagoda in Sampov Loun district, officials said.

Deputy provincial police chief Born Vannara said on Friday evening that Euv Thon—who was apprehended on Tuesday evening and defrocked the following morning—had been sent to the provincial prison to await trial after being questioned at the court and finally charged.

“The suspect confessed in court that he raped the schoolgirls, and the court charged him with aggravated rape,” he said.

Mr. Vannara said Mr. Thon had been a farmer in Battambang’s Samlot district and joined the monk­hood just over a month ago, after divorcing his wife.

“While he was staying in the pagoda, no one knew his name, not even the village chief,” he said, adding that the elderly man did not introduce himself to any adults upon taking up residence at Chrey Seima commune’s Wat Chamka Tabun a few weeks ago.

Deputy district police chief Ly Rum said Thursday that Mr. Thon used his new status as a monk, along with pieces of cake and a few thousand riel, to lure the two girls to his room inside the pagoda, raping them both on January 6, 8 and 9.

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