By Colombo Telegraph –
The chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara, who allegedly abused his position of trust to sexually exploit two underage girls will appear to give evidence tomorrow. The case against Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana had started proceedings at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday and continue for third day.
Court heard that the first victim was abused several times and raped once. She had not complained as a child because of monk’s threats court further heard.
The second victim described to the court that she remembered ‘being alone’ in Ven Somaratana’s room on the pretence of discussing upcoming temple services. Describing the placing of furniture in detail, the she stated that it was “no bigger than a box room”. The crown court was told of incidents of abuse when the victim was taken to the bedroom alone with Ven. Somaratana. She told the court that she was given sweets by the monk and abused and she has memories of “sitting on his lap”. She continued on describing the alleged sexual abuse that she was subjected to during the course of 2 to 3 years.
The monk who was initially charged with one count of rape of a female under 16 and three counts of indecent assault during his tenure at Chiswick temple in1977 and 1978 .Subsequently on Friday, 11 November he was further charged with 8 counts of Indecent assault on a female under 14 between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1986 at an address in Croydon,London Metropolitan police told Colombo Telegraph.
65-year-old Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara at Dulverton Road, Croydon, has pleaded not guilty of all charges.
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