8 warrants issued over gang rape
A court has approved warrants for the arrest of another eight men accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl who claimed she was sexually abused by 40 men in Takua Thung district, Phangnga last year.
Earlier three suspects were arrested and indicted for rape. They were later released on bail.
Deputy police spokesman Kritsana Pattanacharoen yesterday said Khok Kloi police officers sought the Phangna Provincial Court’s approval to issue warrants for the eight men and the court finally approved them.
The eight suspects face charges including conspiring to rape a child aged 15 or younger, abducting a child, coercion, bodily assault and property intrusion.
Pol Col Kritsana said justice would be applied to all sides. Anyone possibly implicated in the crime will be apprehended, he said.
The case came hit the headlines after the girl’s mother submitted a complaint with local police asking them to re-open the investigation after finding out there were allegedly 40 suspects implicated in her daughter’s rape.
The alleged crimes took place from May to October last year in Ban Koh Raet, Takua Thung district.
The villagers were reported to have been upset by the news, with many developing mental health problems. They said they have encountered negative and even hostile responses from outsiders.
Police said earlier they had tried to seek warrants for as many as 17 suspects, but the court rejected them and told the police to gather more information to substantiate the allegations.
On Thursday, police presented photos of 11 men to the girl, who eventually identified five as villagers who allegedly gangraped her.
The girl’s mother said she had to leave her daughter, who is from her former husband, alone with her 7-year-old brother, when she and her current husband went out to tap rubber milk at night. After picking up on some unusual behaviour from her daughter, she was able to elicit more information from the girl, who told her that she had repeatedly been raped.
The attackers filmed the girl being raped and then used that video footage to blackmail her into further coerced sex, said the mother.