Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thailand: Update--Police Investigation Clarifies Events of Rape of Briton, 20, in Nakhon Si Thammarat

As a follow-up to my posting of February 19, concerning the alleged gang-rape of a British student, 20 in Nakhon Si Thammarat, according to the Royal Thai Police, a 26-year-old auto mechanic has been arrested for allegedly raping a Scottish woman on Friday night (February 15).

Pongpat Po-soy, who works at an auto repair shop in the Muang district, where the alleged rape occurred, was taken into custody on February 19. 

Although the victim originally alleged that she was gang-raped by four men who abducted her outside of a restaurant, as police investigated the matter they learned that because she was severely intoxicated and alone, her account of the events did not mesh with the results of their investigation.

According to investigators, Pongpat told police that he initially wanted to help the woman as she was injured, but explained that he subsequently felt sexually aroused, at which point he followed the victim into a building and attempted to rape her twice, but was unable to physically do so.

COMMENT: Samples of semen collected from the victim and Pongpat could not delineate as to whether the samples belonged to Pongpat or the victim's boyfriend, with whom she had had sex with four days earlier, although DNA analysis should differentiate one from the other.

Pongpat did confess to using his finger to abuse the victim, which in Thailand qualifies as rape. Subsequently, the assailant was taken to both the restaurant and the building where the assault occurred to re-enact the events. Normally, such reenactments are videotaped.

Despite the variance of the facts, the incident no doubt was very traumatic for the victim, causing her to suddenly return to the UK yesterday (February 20).

In looking back at the circumstances of the assault, it would have been far better for the victim had she not become so intoxicated the night of the attack that she was unable to recall what had actually happened to her.

Visitors are also reminded that alcoholic beverages in Thailand do not have the same quality control and standards of production found in developed countries and are often much more potent, causing drinkers to become intoxicated much faster. Thus, drinking alone, as was the case with the victim, may well have contributed to the vulnerabilities that led to the assault.