By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea
The former chief monk of a pagoda in Kratie province’s Chhlong district was released from police custody on Wednesday after a woman he was accused of raping leapt to his defence and claimed the sex was consensual.
Thim Narin, provincial coordinator of rights group Adhoc, said Wednesday that the monk – now defrocked – was detained on Tuesday after the woman’s family filed a complaint alleging he raped the woman in a rice field.
Keo Pisey, chief of the provincial office of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection, said Wednesday that after police questioned the monk and his 29-year-old “victim”, they came to the conclusion that “he and the woman really loved each other” and that the “intercourse was consensual”.
“The former pagoda Buddhist monk chief was released after he confessed his deep love for the woman and agreed to marry her, with the approval of the woman and her parents,” she said.
Keo Pisey said the couple met each other at Chroy Peakmeak pagoda in Prek Chamlak village and kept in touch over the phone for more than a month before they decided to meet during a ceremony on Tuesday.
“He took his monks’ clothes off so no one would be suspicious,” she said. When the woman’s parents couldn’t find their daughter, they assumed that she had been raped by the undercover monk and filed a complaint to police.