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Miss Universe Thailand Photographer Charged with Rape

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Miss Universe Thailand Photographer Charged with Rape

A Miss Universe Thailand photographer has been arrested in central Thailand for allegedly raping a beauty pageant contestant and sexually assaulting other contestants as well.

The police stopped Thanawat Wisetnarakul’s car and took him into custody on Khlong Ha Road in Khlong Luang district on Thursday afternoon, police Maj Gen Phumin Phumphanmuang, the commander of special operations, said on Friday.

According to the Bangkok Post, in November, the Thanyaburi Provincial Court issued an arrest warrant against the suspect for the alleged forcible rape of a person unable to resist.

The arrest was led by Pol Col Wachiara Yaothaisong, superintendent at the special operations center. He said Mr. Thanawat admitted he was the man named on the warrant, but denied raping the woman. Instead, he said sexual relations were consensual.

Mr. Wachira said that the suspect was a photographer who was also accused of harassing two contestants, aged 19 and 23, at the Miss Universe Thailand 2021 pageant.

On Thursday afternoon, two women and a lawyer filed a complaint against Mr. Thanawat with Lumphini police.

Miss Universe Thailand 2021 pageant

A 19-year-old woman claimed he assaulted her in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima, and in Lumphini, during the pageant beauty camps from Oct 9-15. On Oct 22, a 23-year-old contestant claimed she was sexually assaulted at a hotel in Chon Buri.

The two women were among the 30 finalists in the Miss Universe Thailand 2021 pageant.

A medical examination would be conducted on the two women, according to Pol Col Chakkarit Chosungnern, chief of Lumphini police.

It is also expected that the arrested suspect be brought to the Lumphini police station in order to acknowledge the charges asserted against him.

As a result of the legal team’s research, Ms. Saranya said the suspect’s claim that the affair was consensual is not true. In addition to Mr. Thanawat, other contestants have indicated they will sue him.

Mr. Thanawat’s application for bail, backed by relatives, was denied by the Thanyaburi Court on Friday afternoon due to flight risk.

Source: Bangkok Post

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