A former monk named Wirapol Sukphol, formerly known as Luang Pu Nen Kham, has been charged with sex offences, fraud and money laundering after being extradited from the US to Thailand
Wirapol, known for his lavish lifestyle, was extradited from the US to Bangkok on 19 July to face multiple charges of money laundering and sex offences.
The 37-year-old is accused of sexually abusing and molesting an underage girl. He is also accused of separating a minor from their parents for the purpose of indecent acts. These crimes happened in 2013 when he was in Thailand and later fled to the US.
According to Thailand's Department of Special Investigations (DSI), the monk faces charges of child molestation, child abduction, money laundering and fraud after millions of dollars of assets were discovered in his name.
While Wirapol has been expelled from the monkhood, when he arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday, he was wearing Buddhist robes
He was later defrocked and made to wear plain white clothes.
He will fully be dismissed from the monkhood once he performs a ceremony in front of another senior monk, CNN reported.
Wirapol claims to be the reincarnation of Luang Pu Nenkham, a legendary monk who lived several decades ago but is known as the "jet set" monk due to his extravagance. He is accused of ignoring his Buddhist vows of celibacy and simple, moral living.
According to a report in The Straits Times, the disgraced former monk has fathered a child with the 14-year-old girl he raped
The rape of a minor in Thailand carries a jail term of up to 20 years.
While the Thai Court has accepted the cases for consideration and Corrections Department, Wirapol has reportedly denied all accusations, vowing to fight the charges.
The Court has set 18 September for the pretrial examination of prosecution and defence evidence and witness lists, reported Bangkok Post.
His lawyer, meanwhile, told CNN that, contrary to being extradited, Wirapol had "decided to return to Thailand to prove his innocence"
"His case is accepted by (the) Criminal Court and he is currently detained at Klong Prem Prison. We will discuss about bailing out later," CNN quoted the lawyer as saying.
The lawyer also claimed that his client "believes he can prove his innocence. All he did was only good things and helping people out of hardship."