Court Charges Two Monks With Attempted Rape of 19-Year-Old

The Kompong Thom Provincial Court on Wednesday charged two defrocked monks with the attempted rape of a teenager after they lured her inside the sleeping quarters of their pagoda on Monday, police officials said Thursday.

Vun Vet, 17, and Tann Tot, 20, attempted to rape the 19-year-old victim after asking her to bring fruit to Tuol Preah Theat pagoda in Stong district’s Trea commune around midday, said district police chief Yang Sam.

“The victim said in the morning that she went to the market and then the monks called her to visit their monk house and buy guava for them,” Mr. Sam said.

After giving the fruit to the two monks, the victim—who had been communicating with the pair by telephone after they received her number from a friend—said she needed to return home, at which point she was attacked, he said.

“Mr. Vun Vet grabbed her hand and pushed her back into the monk’s house…and then Mr. Tann Tot quickly locked the door and used his monk belt to tie the victim’s hands. He held her body and kissed her face, but the victim was fighting back,” Mr. Sam said.

The victim managed to wrest herself free, unlock the door and escape before filing a complaint with commune police later in the day, he said, adding the pair was arrested that afternoon and confessed to the crime, before being defrocked on Tuesday.

“They already confessed…[and] on Tuesday at the district office

of cults and religion, the chief monk of the pagoda decided to defrock both of them,” Mr. Sam said.

Chea Poeun, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau, confirmed the arrests and said the two monks had since been charged with attempted rape.

“The investigating judge, Chok Nguon, charged them for the attempted rape of the woman,” he said, adding that the pair was placed in provisional detention at the provincial prison on Wednesday evening.

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