Former Tibetan Monk Jailed on Rape Charges

A Tibetan monk who was granted political asylum in the United States was jailed Wednesday on a charge alleging he raped a 14-year-old girl, who became pregnant.

Jampa Dhondup, 40, had asked a Hampshire Superior Court judge to lower his bail from $50,000, but Judge Bertha Josephson refused the request at a hearing Tuesday.

Dhondup, who lived in Greenfield, has pleaded innocent to one charge of forcible rape of a child in connection with the incident in Amherst in October 2005. He has been jailed since November.

Amherst police interviewed Dhondup through an interpreter and said he told them he had consensual sex with the girl and acknowledged he had impregnated her, Assistant District Attorney Jayme Parent said.

Defense Attorney Alan Rubin said Dhondup has no travel documents or passport because they were confiscated during the asylum process. He came to the United States in 1998.