Equality and Anti-Discrimination Lawyers

Case

Live rape case against the 17th Karmapa

McAllister Olivarius is representing Vikki Han in her accusations of rape against the 17th Karmapa in New York. We are aware of similar allegations of sexual assault which have been published online involving the 17th Karmapa and other Lamas. We expect there may be others who feel unable to come forward because of the conflict with their faith.

Vikki Han’s rape claim

Vikkki Han alleges that on 14 October 2017 the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, sexually assaulted her. The Karmapa Lama is a revered leader of Tibetan Buddhists; he is considered a deity. At the time of the rape, Han was training to become a Buddhist nun. Her trust in the Karmapa was total, and so was his religious authority over her.

Han was living in North America when she became devoted to her faith; she pledged her life to it and enrolled in a three-year residential course at an all-female retreat in New York State. On one of the Karmapa Lama’s visits to the retreat, the nuns were instructed to go to their private quarters and keep their doors open for the Karmapa Lama to bless each room one by one. Han says that on visiting her room the Karmapa insisted that the door be closed and locked. He then raped her. Given that Han’s faith instructed her to consider the Karmapa a deity, she was inhibited from restraining her attacker.

Photo of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Photo source: karmapafoundation.eu

When Han was found to be pregnant the monastery expelled her. Han gave birth to a daughter in Canada. Han, currently living in British Columbia, is pursuing a separate legal claim for child and spousal support from the Karmapa Lama after a recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling said the suit could go forward. She is represented in this matter by Maclean Family Law, in Canada.

If you have information relevant to this case that you would like to share, of have been affected by the Karmapa, please get in touch below:

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