Thursday, November 3, 2011

Buddhist Monks Walk Away from Sex-abuse Cases

It seems like what the Catholic church got away with for years and maybe still does, is also going on in Buddhism. But what is new? Abuse occurs in all religions, and it seems like they are immune from everything that goes on unless enough people take it to court.

Across the U.S., temples frustrate investigators by insisting they have no control over monks' actions, whereabouts a woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a monk at a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chicago holds her 11-year-old daughter, who was conceived, according to her mother, during the assaults. The meeting took place at Wat Dhammaram, a cavernous Theravada Buddhist temple on the southwest edge of Chicago. A tearful 12-year-old told three monks how another monk had turned off the lights during a tutoring session, lifted her shirt and kissed and fondled her breasts while pressing against her, according to a lawsuit. Shortly after that meeting, one of the monks sent a letter to the girl's family, saying the temple's monastic community had resolved the matter, the lawsuit says. The "wrong doer had accepted what he had done," wrote P. Boonshoo Sriburin, and within days would "leave the temple permanently" by flying back to Thailand. "We have done our best to restore the order," the letter said. But 11 years later, the monk, Camnong Boa-Ubol, serves at a temple in California, where he says he interacts with children even as he faces a second claim, supported by DNA, that he impregnated a girl in the Chicago area. Sriburin acknowledges that restoring order did not involve stopping Boa-Ubol from making the move to California. And it did not involve issuing a warning to the temple there. Wat Dhammaram didn't even tell its own board of directors what happened with the monk, he said. "We have no authority to do anything. … He has his own choice to live anywhere," Sriburin said. To continue reading go here: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-24/news/ct-met-monk-sex-cases-20110724_1_thai-monks-buddhist-monks-paul-numrich

1 comment:

  1. It's a good sign that victims are filing lawsuits, both civil and criminal. What doesn't make sense, is that the law enforcement community is oddly helpless in these cases. A monk guilty of a crime, or who has a pending lawsuit against him, can be prevented from leaving the US. As soon as he crosses state lines, the FBI is supposed to get involved. If the accused succeeds in leaving the country, he can be extradited. Law enforcement in this story comes across as inexplicably passive and helpless. It's an embarrassment to the US criminal justice system.

    Is there anyone we can write to, to urge that law enforcement step up their activities so justice can be done?

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