Monk disrobed after telephone sex

BANGKOK (AFP): A senior monk left the Buddhist clergy today after he was caught engaging in phone sex, officials within the monkhood say. Phra Si Visuthyarn, deputy abbot of Bangkok’s Tritosthep temple, delivered his resignation this morning, an official told AFP. The monk quit after religious officials in the Sangha Supreme Council received a tape recording of him having phone sex with women and requesting meetings for physical intercourse, the official said. “We have proven that it is his voice on the tape, so the case is closed. He had to quit, since phone sex is inappropriate for the monkhood,” he said. Monks are forbidden by the Buddhist scriptures from having sex. Other abbots at Tritosthep temple previously told reporters that they had received complaints about Si Visuthyarn for sexual misconduct, but Si Visuthyarn has denied all charges against him. The incident was the first reported case of a monk having sex by telephone, but only one in a number of recent scandals that have plagued Thailand’s Buddhist clergy. Last Sunday, police began investigating allegations that a Buddhist abbot repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl who lived with her mother inside his temple compound. Three days before that, an abbot and his girlfriend were charged with possessing and dealing in illicit drugs. And earlier in the week, Adhikarn Arn Wattanadhamo, from another northeastern temple, was charged with murdering a woman who was found strangled and dumped in a septic tank. The rash of arrests, as well as a number of embarrassing incidents where monks have been spotted drinking, hiring prostitutes and driving luxury cars, has put the spotlight on shortcomings in the Thai clergy. Newspaper editorials have expressed concern that misbehaviour is more widespread than authorities claim, and that little is being done to bring errant monks into line.

Phuket News

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