A 12-year-old rape victim and her sister have been placed under police protection after they were threatened by the suspected rapists for exposing their crime.
Five adults and two juveniles identified as the rape victim’s relatives and neighbours stand accused of raping the 12 years old. Also committing indecency with a person under 15 and threatening to use force.
The five adults were arrested last week, but one of them was released after posting 350,000-baht bail yesterday. One of the two juvenile suspects turned himself in to police.
The release of the adult sparked fears of retribution against the victim for exposing the crime.
On Tuesday, provincial governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong said he had ordered local authorities to protect the girl and her sister. The girl has since been placed under police protection at a welfare home. Furthermore her sister was placed in the house of a local leader for protection.
Rape victim showed signs of emotional recovery
Sujin Wajakij, chief of Muang district, said a team of provincial authorities, the police and psychologists will speak with the sister about the crime. Also noting the sister is being given protection during the investigation.
Mr Sujin noted that the rape victim and her sister lived in close vicinity to the suspects because they are related.
The 14-year-old juvenile suspect who turned himself in denied any involvement in the case. He was accompanied by his mother.
The sister, the victim’s 29-year-old legal guardian, filed charges against the seven neighbours and relatives last week.
The sister said she learned about the crime, but she and the rape victim were afraid of revenge. Especially if they alerted the authorities. The sister decided to take legal action after the victim complained of chronic abdominal pain. The girl was taken to a doctor who confirmed she had been raped.
One of the suspects, a 51-year-old man, allegedly assaulted the victim multiple times. He also threatened to kill her if she told anyone about what had happened.
Rape in Thailand
Rape always brings with it devastation — to the victims, their families and even the public that learns of such crimes. The condemnation is loud, a cry for harsh punishment up to the penalty of death — a solution many believe can put an end to rape.
From the Bangkok Post‘s previous reports, rape occurs about 30,000 times a year in the country — meaning that every 15 minutes, someone is being raped. However, only about 4,000 cases are actually reported to authorities.
Those that end with the perpetrators incarcerated are even fewer. Startlingly, many of the victims are very young girls in kindergarten.
New penalties for those convicted of rape
– Rape of a child under the age of 15
Penalties: Five to 20 years in prison and a fine of between 100,000-400,000 baht
– Rape of a child under the age of 13
Penalties: Seven to 20 years in prison or a life sentence and a fine of between 140,000-400,000 baht