Far from enlightening
CHIANG RAI: For most Thai families, having a son train as a novice in the wat is a matter of pride and cultural significance. One can only imagine, then, the shock the father of one boy must have felt when his son returned home reporting that he had been repeatedly raped in the wat. On May 13, a 45-year-old man in Chiang Rai’s Teung sub-district filed a complaint with local police, saying that his 13-year-old son had escaped from a local Buddhist education center where he had been brutally raped by a senior monk. The abuse began on the night of May 1, when acting abbot Phra Sawat Khamphirathammo summoned the novice to his quarters, saying he required a massage. But the monk was really only interested in alleviating the stiffness in one muscle. Lathering this muscle with soap, he then plunged it into the terrified boy’s rear end. After achieving satisfaction, he gave the boy 20 baht and warned him to keep quiet. All told, the novice was raped seven times, after which the boy could stand it no longer. On May 12 he escaped from the center and made his way home. His outraged father took his son to a doctor to confirm the abuse that had occurred before filing a complaint with police. Phra Khamphirathammo initially denied raping the boy, but when confronted with the doctor’s report as evidence, he confessed. He now faces charges of committing an indecent act on a child.
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