A 15-year-old former monk was jailed on Tuesday on charges of aggravated rape for assaulting a 5-year-old girl inside a storage room at a pagoda in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district earlier this month.
Orn Kimhak was defrocked and arrested at Wat Kouk Khsach in Phloeung Chheh Roteh commune on Friday after police received the results of a medical examination that concluded that the girl had been sexually assaulted.
According to police, the child had been playing at the pagoda on November 9 when the young monk took her into a storage room and raped her. The teenager claims he merely pushed her to the ground.
Chea Sovann, chief of the district police’s penal bureau, who led the investigation into the case, said the boy was charged with rape of a minor at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday after two days of questioning.
“We have enough evidence to inculpate him,” Mr. Sovann said. “The girl’s genitals were injured and two other children, who were eyewitnesses, also said they saw the suspect [physically] fighting with the girl.”
The bureau chief added that the suspect had been placed in provisional detention at Prey Sar prison’s Correctional Center 2, a facility for female and juvenile offenders.
Thorng Samnang, chief monk at Wat Kouk Khsach, who is also the teenager’s uncle, said the allegations against his nephew were untrue, and invented to besmirch his reputation as head of the pagoda.
“I think someone behind that case intends to damage my honor,” he said. “But I don’t have to fight back—sin is killed by no revenge.”