8 war­rants is­sued over gang rape

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - POST RE­PORTERS

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.

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