Monk faces child indecency rap
A senior monk in Phetchabun implicated in the temple fund embezzlement scandal was arrested Wednesday at his temple in Chon Daen district for alleged child indecency, according to the Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
Phra Khru Kitti Phacharakhun, 53, the abbot of Wat Lat Khae temple and also Chon Daen district's monastic chief, was nabbed by a 30-man CSD team at his living quarters, two days after an arrest warrant was issued by the police.
In the warrant approved Wednesday by the Criminal Court, the monk was accused of committing indecent acts against children under 15 with or without the victim's consent. The monk denied the charge and claimed he was himself the victim of a smear campaign.
Police said the monk would be brought before the provincial monastic chief for the defrocking process if he refused to leave monkhood voluntarily.
Pol Col Charoonkiat Pankaew, who led the arrest team, said the CSD pressed the charge against the monk after looking into a series of allegations and complaints about an alleged sexual relationship with a female soldier based in Phitsanulok and found there were grounds.
According to the CSD investigator, the woman was placed under the monk's care by her parents when she was in Matthayom 2.
After completing her studies, she joined the army with the monk's help.
Pol Col Charoonkiat said the female soldier was seen at the monk's living quarters at night and she recently became engaged to a 51-year-old man amid reports that she was pregnant.
The abbot of Wat Lat Khae temple was also accused of making sexual advances toward several women and improper conduct, including sneaking out of the temple at night and behaving like an influential figure.
According to a police source, Phra Khru Kitti Phacharakhun was among four monks and 10 laymen implicated in the temple fund embezzlement being investigated by the police's Counter-Corruption Division.