Justice Ministry offers help to family of teen rape victim
By THE NATION
BANGKOK: -- THE FAMILY of a 14-year-old gang-rape victim has requested protection and legal assistance from the Justice Ministry.
The victim’s mother told the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Tawatchai Thaikyo during their meeting yesterday that she had faced intimidation over her efforts to fight for justice.
The sexual attacks took place last November. But it became big news only this week after Songkran Atchariyasap, a lawyer who chairs a network that professes to target threats to the nation, religion and monarchy, came forward. He brought the victim’s mother to Deputy National Police Commissioner Pol Lt-General Srivara Ransibrahma-nakul on Tuesday and to Tawatchai yesterday.
Following the sexual attacks, the girl was allegedly offered to a much older man, making the case qualify as human trafficking.
“The victim’s mother can immediately seek protection because it’s related to human trafficking,” Tawatchai said. He added that the Justice Fund would help the victim with legal expenses.
“We will also contact the Education Ministry to help her find a new school,” Tawatchai said.
Songkran said he suspected that the main suspect behind the alleged procurement might still be at large judging by the available evidence.
It is widely believed that local police in Suphan Buri’s Dan Chang district were initially reluctant to arrest suspects in the case because the crime was linked to a retired police officer.
However, following the meeting between the victim’s mother and Srivara, police quickly arrested six suspects – four on charges of gang rape and two others on charges of human trafficking.
Suphan Buri’s police chief Pol Maj-General Sukhun Prommayon said yesterday that police investigators in charge of the case had already been transferred out of the Dan Chang area pending a disciplinary probe.
Sukhun denied reports that the older man who allegedly paid to have sex with the girl was a government official.
“No, he’s not. Anyway at this point, I can only reveal that he is a 54-year-old man in Suphan Buri’s Nong Ya Sai district,” he said.
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