Monk Defrocked and Arrested for Alleged Rape

A 15-year-old monk accused of raping a 5-year-old girl was questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Sunday after he was defrocked and arrested on Friday evening after results of a medical examination showed that the girl had been assaulted, police said.

The young monk was defrocked on Friday evening after police received the exam, according to Chea Sovann, Pur Senchey district penal police chief.

“We got the results on Friday and the district’s chief monk decided to defrock him on the same day,” Mr. Sovann said, adding that the teenager is currently being held at Pur Senchey district police headquarters. He said the boy was questioned by the court on Sunday but was not charged and will be sent to the court again today.

According to police, the young girl was playing at the Kouk Khsach pagoda in Phloeung Chheh Roteh commune on November 9 when the young monk allegedly took her into a storage room and raped her.

Phorn Davy, head of the municipal cults and religion department, said that the medical examination clearly showed that the young girl had been sexually assaulted.

“The results of the examination were clear so we had the religious ceremony to defrock him and then handed him over to the police for legal action,” Mr. Davy said.

While he was awaiting questioning outside the court on Sunday, the teenager denied raping the girl, saying that he pushed her down when she attempted to follow him to the storage room.

“After we finished folding the flags, I brought them upstairs and she followed me so I pushed her back and she fell down and cried,” he said. “This is unjust for me because I did not do this.”

Thorng Samnang, chief monk at Kouk Khsach pagoda, defended the monk, claiming that the girl’s examination was inconclusive because it said that the girl’s hymen had remained intact.

“Police demanded to bring the monk in for questioning and we decided to defrock him in order to ease the procedure of questioning,” he said.

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