The chief monk of a Kampot province pagoda was defrocked and taken into police custody last week on charges of raping his 16-year-old pagoda boy, police and religious officials said Sunday.
Chea Em, 74, of Tropeang Bei pagoda in Chhuk district’s Taken Kohsla commune, voluntarily left the monkhood Nov 9 after provincial religion officials began investigating the boy’s claims, provincial religion chief Vong Meat said.
“We defrocked him according to Buddhist rule, after we found out about his debauchery with his pagoda boy. We did not force him” to defrock, Vong Meat said.
The victim had been living at the pagoda as an assistant to the monks for roughly one year, Deputy provincial police Chief In Chiva said. When his parents came to the pagoda last week to ask Chea Em to help train the boy for the monkhood, the boy broke down in tears and told the couple that Chea Em had been raping him about twice a week for the last six months.
A doctor’s examination confirmed that the boy had suffered serious injury from the repeated attacks, In Chiva said.
Chea Em confessed to raping the pagoda boy to both police and religious officials, In Chiva said. Chea Em was arrested and sent to Kampot provincial court Friday to face charges of debauchery, the deputy chief said. He is being held in provincial prison.