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TOPSHOT-NEPAL-RELIGION-BUDDHISM- Nepalese Buddhist devotee Ram Bahadur Bomjam sits on a platform before preaching to an audience at Ratanpuri village in Bara district, 100 kms (62 miles) south of Kathmandu, on November 10, 2008. (Photo by DIWAKAR BHANDARI/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
4:58 PM – Wednesday, July 3, 2024

A spiritual leader in Nepal, known as “Buddha Boy,” has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars after sexually assaulting a minor. 

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According to court officials, Ram Bahadur Bamjan, who is believed by his followers to be the reincarnation of the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, was sentenced on Monday. 

Bamjan is said to be 34-years-old. However, most sources oddly refrained from noting the leader’s age.

In addition to the ten-year sentence, Bamjan was also ordered by a judge at the Sarlahi District Court in southern Nepal to pay $3,700 in compensation to the victim.

Court official Sadan Adhikari stated that the man has 70 days to file an appeal against the ruling.

In January, Bomjan was taken into custody by police from a suburb in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on allegations of sexual assault and on suspicion of being involved in the disappearance of at least four of his followers.

At the time of the arrest, $227,000 in Nepalese banknotes and $23,000 in other foreign currencies were taken from him, according to the police.

He was found guilty by the court last week of sexually abusing a minor girl. Authorities did not specify the girl’s age.

Trial proceedings are also ongoing in regards to the allegations connected to his followers’ disappearances.

Many Nepalese people believe that Bamjan is the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama, as he as claimed himself. However, Bamjan’s claims have been met with skepticism by a number of Buddhist scholars, even though they themselves believe in reincarnation.

In 2005, Bamjan rose to fame in southern Nepal. He would often hold camps in southern Nepal, where thousands of people came to worship.

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