Ven. Phalagama Somartana, the chief monk of Selsdon Buddhist Temple in London, was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday of four counts of indecent assault on a female under 16 between January 01, 1977 and December 31, 1978 at an address in Chiswick.
The 65-year-old monk, who will be sentenced at the same court on June 1, was found not guilty of raping a female under 16 during the period mentioned above at an address in Chiswick and not guilty of indecent assault on a female under 14 between January 01, 1985 and December 31, 1986 at an address in Croydon.
In May 2010 Child Abuse Investigation Command officers began an investigation into historical allegations of indecent assault and rape. On Tuesday, 14 September 2010 a (then) 64-year-old monk was arrested on suspicion of an historical indecent assault and rape. He was questioned at Heathrow police station and later bailed pending further enquiries
He was charged on September 12, 2011 and further charged on November 11, 2011.
On Friday, September 23, Phalagama Somartana thero chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, of Dulverton Road, Croydon appeared on bail at Feltham Magistrates’ Court charged with rape of female under 16 between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1978 at an address in Chiswick and indecent assault on a female under 16 between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1978 at an address in Chiswick.
Pahalagama Somaratana Thero, has been charged with another eight counts of sexual abuse on Friday, 11 November, the London Metropolitan police told Colombo Telegraph. According to the metropolitan police these eight indecent assaults on a female under 14 took place between January 01,1985 and December 31,1986 at an address in Croydon.The 65-year-old Pahalagama Somaratana thero appeared on bail at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 2 December and was bailed to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on December 20, 2011.