Monk arrested for molesting child tourist


(eTN) – A Cambodian monk has been arrested and defrocked for molesting an eight-year-old French girl while she was touring the country’s Angkor temples with her family.

The monk, 16-year-old Ouk Ratha, confessed to touching the girl’s genitals last Friday after luring her into a quiet corner of the Bayon temple, one of the Angkor complex’s most famous monuments in northwest Cambodia, said police official Sun Bunthong.

The monk also said he forced the girl to fondle him, Mr Sun said.

The girl’s parents became aware of the incident after noticing that she appeared frightened to have her picture taken with the monk.

“She agreed to be photographed twice with the monk out of fear,” Mr Sun said.

“Afterwards her parents asked her why she was scared and she told them what the monk did to her,” he said.

The parents complained to police and Ouk Ratha was defrocked a few hours after his arrest.

He faces three years in jail if convicted on sexual assault charges.

“It was a bad thing to do since monks represent Buddhism,” Mr Sun said.

Large numbers of monks gather at the Angkor temples, the devoutly Buddhist country’s spiritual centre and largest tourist attraction.