McAllister Olivarius representing former nun in rape claim against the 17th Karmapa, considered a deity in Tibetan Buddhism
Vikki Han alleges that on 14 October 2017 the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a revered leader of Tibetan Buddhism, sexually assaulted her. The Karmapa Lama is a potential successor to the Dalai Lama and considered a deity. At the time of the rape, Han was 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. While studying to become a Buddhist nun, Han 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 rooms 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.
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.
McAllister Olivarius is representing Han in her accusations of rape. The firm is aware of similar allegations of sexual assault which have been published online involving the 17th Karmapa. It is concerned that there may be others who feel unable to come forward because of the conflict with their faith.
McAllister Olivarius is interested to talk to anyone who has knowledge of these allegations.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Dr. Ann Olivarius, Chair and Senior Partner of McAllister Olivarius is available for interview.
McAllister Olivarius is an international law firm with offices in the UK and the US that focuses on equality and anti-discrimination law, including civil rape cases.
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