CHIANGRAI TIMES – Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said Monday that a growing scandal over a three-year-old viral video clip involving a group of soldiers having sex with a woman was not rape and may not even be illegal.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said Monday that a growing scandal over a viral video clip involving a group of soldiers having sex with a woman was not rape and may not even be illegal.
He accepted the group of men are soldiers but defended that they were not raping the woman but it might be a case of “mutual consent”.
“I’m not sure what the woman was thinking,” he said. “She might want it all to be fun, wanted to take a photo, wanted to have activities with soldiers… I don’t know but the soldiers did the wrong thing and they’re not gentlemen.”
Photos of the video have spread widely in internet forums and social networks. They show five men having sex with a woman in a room which appears to be a state office, while another man with camouflage trousers takes the photos of them.
“In my view, it may not break the law, but it violates the army’s regulations which have maximum punishment of being sacked,” or dismissed from the service, he said. He added he would not protect the soldiers involved.
“I don’t know if this is a plot to discredit the army,” he said.
An army source said the army chief instructed legal unit to consider if the army can take legal action with those who released the photos via the internet.
The scandal apparently is three years old, involving a military trainer who ordered army conscripts to have sex with a woman in a military camp and took photos, the source said.
It is believed that the incident happened in a unit under the Third Army in the North, the source added.
The army chief instructed the legal unit to consider whether the army can take legal action against those who released the photos on the internet.
Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha also denied saying that a woman in photos posted on the internet engaging in group sex with soldiers was autistic.
Gen Prayuth yesterday insisted he never mentioned the word “autism” when referring to the woman in the controversial photos. Those who told the media he made such a remark might have obtained the wrong information.
“I am not the type of person who blames women. I never blamed the woman [in the photos]. There was also speculation that the incident might not have been a case of rape. I blame no one. We have to respect women,” said the army chief.
He was responding to reports that he told a meeting with senior officers that an investigation into photos showing six conscripts having group sex with a woman had revealed she was autistic.