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School director denies charge of raping minor

Feb 07. 2018
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By The Nation

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A 51-year-old school director in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Bua Yai district, who is involved in a scandal involving an alleged relationship with a schoolgirl, has denied a separate charge of raping a minor under 15, which was filed by police on Wednesday.

The teacher has already been suspended from work pending a disciplinary investigation over allegations that he had an intimate relationship with a 14-year-old Mathayom 2 schoolgirl.

Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Council of Thailand Office also sent officials to Bua Yai to gather information as it considers revoking his teaching and school-administration licences, a source at the local education office said.

Suspended director of Ban Patong Thanoen Samakkee School, Nathapop Boonthongtho, was accompanied by his lawyer when he went to meet police at noon, as per a summons. He then denied the rape charge and said he would fight the accusation in court.

Nathapop was previously charged with “taking a minor under 15 away from his or her parent or guardian for lewd act”, and with libel, over an alleged dispute with a local woman who reportedly revealed the scandal. He has also denied both these charges and vowed to fight them in court.

In the meantime, the serious disciplinary probe against Nathapop is ongoing. A source said the investigators were determined to conclude the case within 60 days as per an instruction from Education Ministry permanent secretary Karun Sakulpradit for them to report back swiftly. 

Nathapop, who was given 15 days to explain himself to the inquiry committee, had not met the panel to submit an explanation as of press time, the source added.

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