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Former monk accused of rape freed

Pav Suy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The former monk at a pagoda after being defrocked. Facebook

Rumours of the arrest of a defrocked monk accused of rape were denied by Banteay Meanchey provincial police yesterday.

Sril Vanna, former chief monk of Phnom Bak Loeu pagoda in the province, also dispelled rumours that he was going to marry his accuser.

On Tuesday, Mr Vanna was defrocked after Ke Lita, 20, accused him of raping her at her home during a meeting that was arranged by officials from the Provincial Department of Cults and Religions at a pagoda.

After the meeting, Mr Vanna, who denied the allegations, was defrocked and escorted away into a police car before being taken to the provincial police department as a crowd formed at the pagoda. As the scene became chaotic, rumours spread that Mr Vanna was arrested.

Ath Khem, provincial police chief, shot down the arrest rumours yesterday. Mr Khem said that the former monk was escorted out of the vicinity to ensure his safety.

“After the defrocking, it seemed like there was a group of people taking sides with either the former monk or with Ms Lita,” he said. “So we had to protect him and get him to safety. So, we allowed him to return to his home on Tuesday.”

The former monk arrives at his home. Facebook

When asked if the police would take action against Mr Vanna over the rape allegations, Mr Khem said that there has been no formal complaint by Ms Lita.

“There is no complaint regarding the allegations against him from the girl, so we cannot take any action,” Mr Khem said. “I am not sure what they are going to do next, but we want them to settle it to end the case.”

During the meeting, Ms Lita admitted that she leaked sexual videos of the monk online in order to have him resolve problems between the two of them because he was avoiding her.

Mr Vanna denied the rape accusation yesterday in an interview posted online.

Mr Vanna said that he tried to cut off his relationship with Ms Lita, however his phone was out of coverage while he was in Thailand for medical treatment.

“I did not try to escape from her, she couldn’t contact me because my phone was out of the service as I was in Thailand for treatment,” Mr Vanna said. “Previously, I actually wanted to marry her and I just wanted her to wait until I finished the construction of a temple first.”

Mr Vanna had on Tuesday admitted to having sex with Ms Lita, but denied that it was rape.

“If it was really rape, why did you not shout or knock on the house because the house is made of wood with a corrugated tin roof and your parents were downstairs,” he said during the meeting.

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