Cambodian monk arrested for molesting French girl at Angkor temples
Cambodian monk has been arrested and defrocked for molesting an eight-year-old French girl
PHNOM PENH, 2 January 2007 - 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, police said Monday.
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, Sun Bunthong said.
The girl's parents first 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," Sun
"Afterwards her parents asked her why she was scared and she told them what
the monk did to her," he added.
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," Sun Bunthong
Large numbers of monks gather at the Angkor temples, the devoutly Buddhist
country's spiritual centre and largest tourist attraction.