By Khanathit Srihirundaj
The girl’s parents had earlier this week filed a police complaint against the teacher. He faces four charges: of taking a minor away from her parents for a lewd act, raping the girl, molesting, and assaulting her.
Klong Toei district office director Atcharawadee Chaisuwirat said the teacher had been transferred to work at the district office pending an investigation. She said officials were keeping a close watch over him, as they feared he might commit suicide due to stress caused by the accusation. She assured that there would be no attempt to hush up the case.
Klong Toei education division head Ladawan Nonthasila said two teams – a fact-finding committee and a serious disciplinary probe committee – will probe the rape allegation. The disciplinary committee would hear testimony from the victim and her parents later in the afternoon.
On Thursday, Ronnasit Proeksayajiva, chief investigator at Nvader, a non-profit organisation combating human trafficking, accompanied the victim and her parents to lodge a formal complaint and submit the girl’s medical examination result, confirming rape, at the Tha Rua Police Station.
Ronnasit told reporters that the girl’s parents were temporary workers at the school hence the family, including the girl, stayed in the school compound. Ronnasit claimed that prior to being raped, the girl had been molested before by this teacher when she was 12 years old and studying in Prathom 6 there. On That occasion, the teacher allegedly lured her into a classroom on the pretext of cleaning it. The teacher allegedly pushed the girl down and tried to undress her but she kicked him and ran away. The girl informed her mother about the sexual attack but the family was afraid of the impact on their work.
It was later found that this teacher had also molested 15 other schoolgirls (by hugging, kissing and grabbing their breasts) and their parents had stepped forward to complain, resulting in a fact-finding probe. The probe found him guilty of violating the disciplinary code but led to a light punishment for him – of not being considered for a salary raise for two years – but he continued teaching at the school, said Ronnasit. After that the alleged victim changed her school but stayed with her family in the previous school premises.
A letter came in mid-May asking the girl to testify at the Khlong Toei District Office against the teacher, who offered a meal to the girl and 15 other accusers on the night of June 2 to settle the matter with them. None of the other girls showed up so the teacher asked the alleged victim to accompany him to talk. He took her to a karaoke bar where he invited her to drink beer along with him. He reportedly asked the girl to testify in his favour against the molestation accusation but she refused.
He brought the girl back to the school ground and asked to talk with her in a third-floor classroom. While in the classroom, he forced himself on her and allegedly raped her after which he gave her cash to go out and buy food for him. The girl fled the scene. Police could not file the rape charge pending a medical examination. The teacher was, however, charged at the time for being drunk and creating a disturbance. The medical result, confirming the rape, came out in early July.