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93-year-old Australian man facing sexual assault charges in Northern Thailand



Kraus faces a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years if found guilty


CHIANGMAI  – A verdict in the case of a 93-year-old Australian man facing pedophile charges in northern Thailand is expected by December after prosecutors this week concluded their case against him.

Karl Joseph Kraus remains in custody after being rearrested on July 24 in the Myanmar city of Pa-an, the capital of Karen state, after fleeing Thailand where he had been free on bail of 400,000 baht ($A12,900).

Kraus was returned to Thai authorities in early August. He had been living in a rented house in Pa-an when he was detained during a routine check of immigration and passport documents.

Legal sources said that during a hearing on Wednesday the court did not raise any fresh charges regarding Kraus’s getaway to Burma.

“The court is pretty reluctant to (add fresh charges). They want to finish the case as quickly as possible. I doubt very much they will charge him with jumping bail,” they said.

Kraus is charged with the sexual assault of four young sisters under the age of 15 near his residence at Doi Saket on the outskirts of the Thai northern city of Chiang Mai. He was originally arrested in June 2010.

Police have alleged the German-born Australian had lured the girls to his house with promises of chocolates and English lessons.

They said they had uncovered more than 100 photographs of the children naked.

Kraus has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court will hear testimony from four defence witnesses in the final stages of the case before a verdict is expected in December.

Kraus faces a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years if found guilty. But reports say the jail term could be sharply reduced because of his age and uncertain health.



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