Sattahip monk arrested on molestation charges

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The abbot of a Sattahip temple has been arrested for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl.

Athikarnvinai Jeersilo, 61, was taken into custody at Khaocheejan Temple Sept. 14. The arrest came after the mother of a neighbor child filed a complaint with police about the monk allegedly fondling the child in his quarters Aug. 4.

The monk denied the charges and has since been bailed out of jail by village chiefs.

Police filed a motion with Tassanee Khunakorn, dean of Sattahip monks, asking that Athikarnvinai be defrocked. The dean denied the request, saying that as an abbot, Athikarnvinai has the right to face a trial panel.

Tassanee, however, did establish a panel to investigate the monk’s behavior and determine discipline.

Police question monk Athikarnvinai Jeersilo for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl. Police question monk Athikarnvinai Jeersilo for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl.