Defrocked Monk To Be Charged Over Filming Bathing Women

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday questioned a defrocked monk over his alleged filming of naked women bathing in blessed water at Srah Chak pagoda in Daun Penh district, a court official said.

Today the court intends to charge Net Khai, 37, and send him to Dang­kao district’s Prey Sar prison, according to deputy prosecutor Ek Chheng Huot.

The former monk, Net Khai, who is accused of surreptitiously filming more than ten nude women as they poured holy water over themselves in a pagoda bathroom, tarnished the image of Cambodian religion and culture, municipal police chief Touch Naruth said.

“This monk’s act of filming naked women seriously affects our Cam­bo­dian society and Cambodian wom­en’s dignity,” Mr Naruth said.

National police chief Neth Sa­voeun has appealed to any women whose privacy and dignity have been violated by Mr Khai’s actions to come forward and file complaints to aid police in their investigations, Mr Naruth said.

NGOs and police have already lodged complaints with the court on behalf of filmed women who have not yet done so, Mr Naruth added.

Four women have already filed complaints ag­ainst the monk, who was def­rocked and arrested on Saturday, Daun Penh district police chief Hun Sothy said.

A 23-year-old woman filed a complaint on Wednesday alleged that Mr Khai filmed her bathing on his mobile phone and shared the video with other mobile phone users via Blue­tooth, said Det Lavy, the chief of cults and religions for Daun Penh district.

Non Nget, supreme patriarch of the Mohanikaya sect of Buddhism, said that he does not think individual crimes affect the general quality of Buddhist monks in Cambodia.

“It is not connected to our monks’ discipline at all, and now Net Khai is defrocked so the law can sentence him. Yet we are sorry that this man was formerly a monk and did something repulsive to Cambodian society,” Non Nget said.

Still, Non Nget said that he wanted answers about why the women were naked in the pagoda at all, and ap­pealed against such practices in the future.

“Why were [the women] bathing naked in the monk’s bathroom in the pagoda?” Non Nget asked.


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