Buddhist Priest Accused of Sexual Assault Arrested

By Carlos Sadovi
College Times
May 15, 2012

CHICAGO A former Buddhist priest from Stickney Township, Ill., was arrested in Alaska after officials issued an arrest warrant charging the man with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, Cook County Sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Camnong Bual Ubol, 61, had previously lived and worked at Wat Dhammaram Temple in the west suburb, according to a press release issued by Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart.

In October, representatives from the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) contacted sheriff's police officers to investigate claims that Ubol had fathered a child with the girl while he worked and lived at the temple, Dart said.

After the allegations surfaced, police launched an investigation that determined that, based on a 2010 paternity test, he had fathered the child with the teen. But the investigation results had not been turned over to authorities at the time, officials said, and when police were contacted, they could not locate Ubol, whose whereabouts were unknown, police said.

According to a member of the Stickney temple, he had last been at the Wat Buddhavipassana Temple in Long Beach, Calif., Dart said. But sources told authorities that he had since been removed from that temple and was believed to be living in Anchorage, Alaska, Dart said.

Ubol, who was born in Pissanulok Province of Thailand, is a U.S. citizen and had been a Buddhist priest in the United States since 1995, according to Dart.

Sheriff's officers last week executed an arrest warrant for Ubol and he was taken into custody by FBI officials on Friday at LSG Sky Chef, a restaurant in the Anchorage airport where he worked as a dishwasher, Dart said.

At an extradition hearing on Monday evening, Ubol chose not to waive extradition. Sheriff's police are seeking to have the man brought back to Cook County, officials said. He was ordered held on a $30,000 cash bond on the warrant and is currently being housed in the Anchorage Correctional Center East, in Anchorage, Alaska.

A status hearing is set in Anchorage for June 14.


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