Buddhist monk accused of sexual assault

January 20, 2011 3:31:33 PM PST
Harris County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a Buddhist monk they say sexually assaulted a teenage girl. But they may never be able to catch him. Investigators say it was at a Buddhist temple in northwest Harris County that Monk Venh Por, 41, repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old high school student last year. He's been charged with two counts of sexual assault. People at Wat Angkorchum wouldn't say where the monk went.

Prosecutors say investigators began looking into the case after the girl made an outcry at school.

"One of the reasons this came to light was that she found out that he may be having sexual relations with someone else," said assistant district attorney Lauren Bard. "She got upset and started to talk to people."

Prosecutors say once charges were filed they realized that the monk had fled the country, perhaps to Cambodia. We reached one of the founders of the temple via phone today. Heang Lim says the monk told her he was being framed and had to flee.

She said, "When he got to Cambodia he called me back, he said he's sorry and whatever. He went to Cambodia. They called him at night and threatened his life."

Prosecutors admit they simply don't know if Monk Venh Por will ever be back in Texas to face those charges.

Bard said, "At this point, there's a warrant that has been issued for his arrest. We're going to continue to do our job and investigate the case, talk to her, do what we can to see if anybody else has been victimized. We're going to do our job and investigate the case. And should he ever show back up, we'll follow through."