Abbot caught physically and sexually abusing novices in Mae Rim

 | Tue 10 Oct 2023 19:06 ICT
Villagers near Mae Rim District’s Wat Samakkheetham in Mae Rim District reported to authorities yesterday that the abbot of the temple had been abusing his novices.

According to a Laotian man living in Chiang Rai who had a younger brother,12, living at the temple as a novice, his brother had called him to tell him of the abuse and he immediately caught a bus to Chiang Mai and went to the temple.

Upon arrival, his brother told him that the abbot was drunk most night, verbally and physically abusive and that he had been sexually abusive to himself and his friends over the course of the past three months he had been living there.

The man said that he feared he would be arrested for trespassing, and the abbot refused to allow his brother to leave, so he immediately went to report this matter to the village authorities.

According to the young boy, the 48 year old abbot was drunk on beer most nights and would shout and become abusive. he said that he had been sexually abused eight times and another novice, 9, had been sexually abused once.

Hundreds of villagers turned up at the temple when they head about the abbot to demand explanations. A search of his guti ensued where beers were found in the fridge, unused condoms, sextons and pornographic material.

Villagers say that the abbot had resided at the temple for over 20 years and that there had long been rumours of such behaviour. But until now there has been no evidence. For many years the villagers have been split in their opinions between those who believed the abbot and those who didn’t. The abbot has refused to derive, but has left the temple voluntarily pending trial.