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Senior Buddhist monk in UK accused of raping two young girls in temple

London , Thu, 26 Apr 2012 ANI
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London, Apr 26 (ANI): A senior Sri-Lankan origin Buddhist monk in Britain has been accused of carrying out a string of sex attacks on two young girls aged below ten.

One girl had claimed that Pahalagama Somaratana abused her in the shrine room of Croydon Temple in 1978, where he has been chief monk for the past 31 years.

A second woman claimed being indecently assaulted at Croydon Temple during the mid 1980s.

According to The Daily Mail, Somaratana, 66, is facing nine counts of rape, indecent assault and sexual assault.

Somaratana appeared at Isleworth Crown Court last week to deny all charges against him.

Prosecutor Richard Merz told the court the first victim, who was nine in 1978, had been enticed into the monk's room with fruit Polo sweets and told to sit on his lap.

Somaratana later cornered her in the temple shrine and raped her, Merz added.

Merz added the second victim, who was aged between nine and 10 during the alleged attacks, was also enticed into his room with sweets at the temple in Selsdon, South Croydon.

According to the report, Somaratana's trial is expected to last three weeks. (ANI)

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