by Cam Lucadou-Wells
A Keysborough-based senior monk is now facing accusations of child sexual abuse against six alleged victims, a court has heard.
Naotunne Vijitha, 68, who is denying 21 charges, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday 1 December by video link from his lawyer’s office.
The abbot of the Dhamma Sarana temple is facing a new charge of an indecent act with a girl under 16 between 1994 and 1995 in Springvale, which relates to the sixth complainant.
In total, he is contesting nine counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and 12 counts of an indecent act with a child under 16.
The offending allegedly occurred against six girls in Springvale and Keysborough between the mid-1990s and early-2000s.
In August, Vijitha was initially charged by police over alleged child sexual abuse of three girls dating back to the mid-1990s.
After media reports, Victoria Police announced in September that two further alleged victims came forward.
Witnesses are set to be cross-examined during committal hearings at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
Vijitha was bailed to re-appear at court on 6 May.