Fortune-tellers jailed for sexual assault

Sep 9, 2008 (DVB), Two travelling fortune-tellers have been jailed for seven years by a court in Salin, Magwe Division, without having access to lawyers, for allegedly sexually assaulting a female client.

The two are said to be from Mandalay and in their twenties, local residents said.

The claimant was the cousin of a monk, U Kumara of the New Maha Vithutayama monastery, who is township secretary of the state Sangha Maha Nayaka committee.

Locals said the woman had visited the astrologers on 30 August for a reading, and the following day she told her cousin U Kumara that she had been physically assaulted by them.

U Kumara reported the incident to the police, and the fortune-tellers were arrested on 1 September.

The two men were charged with luring a woman into illicit intercourse under section 366 of the penal code and were sentenced immediately without being given access to lawyers.

The two were sent to Nyaung U prison.

Locals have linked the speedy judgment to the upcoming anniversary of last year's Saffron Revolution and said that the authorities did not want to cause any friction with local monks.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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