Nepal court sentences 'Buddha Boy' to 10 years in jail for sexual abuse

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A Nepali court sentenced a man who thousands believed was a reincarnation of the Buddha to 10 years in jail on Monday for child sexual abuse, a court official said.

As a teenager, Ram Bahadur Bamjon had drawn international attention when in 2005 tens of thousands of people turned up to see the "Buddha Boy" sitting cross-legged under a tree in a dense forest in southeastern Nepal for nearly 10 months.

Court official Sikinder Kaapar of the Sarlahi district court in southern Nepal said a judge had also ordered Bamjon, 33, to pay $3,750 in compensation to the victim.

Bamjon could not be reached for comment, but his lawyer, Dilip Kumar Jha, said he would appeal in a higher court.

Bamjon was arrested at a house on the outskirts of Kathmandu in January.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by YP Rajesh and David Holmes)