Friday, January 28, 2011
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As a monk at a local temple is on the run, wanted for sexually assaulting a teen, we're talking to the girl whose accusations made him a wanted man.
At Wat Angkorchum Cambodian Buddhist Temple, Monk Vuthy Meas goes about his daily routine unsure of exactly why the temple's abbot, Venh Por, hastily returned to Cambodia.
"We built this temple in just three years," he tells us, before describing Venh Por as a decent man.
But prosecutors believe the monk fled to avoid facing charges of sexually assaulting this sixteen-year-old girl.
"I know what he was doing to me, and I guess I feel upset," the teenage girl said.
The teenager said she wanted to speak out after watching other members of the temple defend the monk in public. She says it all began when she, at 15, would accompany her mother to the temple.
"He come in, he touch my boob, and I said why'd you touch my boob?" the girl recalled.
Over the past year, the sexual encounters continued, until she made an outcry at school. Initially, even her own parents didn't believe her.
"They don't believe me. They believe the monk because everybody believed the monk," she said.
But the investigation continued, charges were filed, and Venh Por apparently fled.
The 16-year-old may not be the only victim. We spoke on the phone with another teenage girl who said the monk tried to kiss her on the neck.
Prosecutors say they even though the monk is reportedly out of the country, they will continue to search out other victims.
"When I say anything, it's not a lie. It's true," the girl said.
The 16-year-old says she hopes prosecutors can find Venh Por and eventually bring him to justice.
At the temple, his photo is still on the wall, and members say they still support Venh Port the monk.