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News Release

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Media Relations

Thai Temple Employee Arrested

Los Angeles: A man employed as a janitor and photographer at a local temple has been arrested for sexual assault on 7 of the children who attend a summer school program there.

On July 31, 2007, at around 11:40 p.m., Chalearmchai Nopthaisong, 41, was arrested for charges of Kidnapping and Lewd Acts on a Child. Nopthaisong was employed as a janitor and photographer for the Thai Temple in North Hollywood.

Investigators learned of the assaults when one of the students, a 7-year-old female, told her mother that Nopthaisong had locked her in a room and taken inappropriate pictures of her body. The victim's mother alerted the Thai Temple Head Monk as well as the police.

During the course of the investigation it was discovered that there were six additional victims, ranging in age from 4 to 8. Investigators believe that there may be additional victims that have not yet been identified.

Nopthaisong is in custody and being held on 9 million dollars bail and immigration hold due to this arrest.

Anyone with information should contact Officer Alma Mercado at the Los Angeles Police Department, Juvenile Detectives, Sexually Exploited Child Unit, at 213-485-2883. On weekends or during off-hours call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).