3 more women break their silence, adding to claims of Prinn’s alleged sexual abuse

A photo of former Democrat deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi. Credit: Prinn Panitchpakdi | Facebook

More potential #MeToo victims are coming out of the closet, as Thailand faces what may be the largest sex scandal involving a senior politician. On Monday, another three women filed complaints with police against former Democrat deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi, for a total of eight women who have officially accused him of sexual misconduct, according to a report by the Bangkok Post. Thai media has put the current tally at 14.

Lawyer Sittra Biebangkerd escorted the three women to file reports with the Lumphini police yesterday afternoon in Bangkok. He updated the media on the details of the three new accusers, while saying there are other who have yet to speak out. According to Sittra, the sixth accuser is a 26 year old woman who gave the lawyer an audio clip on Sunday, which has since been aired publicly. She claims Prinn raped her in 2020.

“She claimed the suspect had offered money in exchange for her silence, but she has stopped receiving the money.”

The seventh accuser, Sittra said, is a 21 year old woman who claims that Prinn molested her when she was an intern. The alleged attack happened in a car in 2019 when she was 17 years old. The eighth woman claims Prinn also molested her, but she has not consented to releasing the details of her ordeal to the public.

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Sittra said that in addition to the three, there are another four women who were unavailable to join him on Monday to file their complaints. Most of the women say they were enticed to dine with Prinn before he allegedly attacked them. One woman even claims that Prinn drugged her. Her complaint is forthcoming. Meanwhile, another woman who is in the UK plans to present herself as a witness.

Monday’s allegations brings the amount of women who have officially filed complaints to a total of eight, the the Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday morning. Three women had previously filed complaints with Lumphini police, with another one in Phetchaburi and one more in Chiang Mai. However, Thai media reports there’s already a higher number of accusers. Notably, Channel 3 has posted a report with the profiles of 14 alleged victims who have so far filed complaints with police against Prinn.

On Sunday, Bangkok’s South Criminal Court detained Prinn for three counts of sexual assault and harassment, before temporarily releasing him on bail, on the condition that he wouldn’t leave the country. Yesterday morning, Thai feminist groups banded together to stage a protest in front of Democrat party headquarters in Bangkok, in the wake of mounting allegations against the politician.

Police on Monday also updated the media about the progress of the investigation into Prinn’s alleged sexual abuse. Notably, police have not found grounds for reported allegations that Prinn, in collaboration with a police colonel, attempted to pressure accusers to drop their charges, according to Pol. Maj. Gen. Trairong.

“If evidence is found, police will request the prosecutor to revoke Mr. Prinn’s bail.”

Regarding the first complaint from an unnamed 18 year old woman, police say they’ve gathered enough evidence from a Bangkok hotel in Watthana district where the alleged attack took place. That’s according to the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Pol. Maj. Gen. Trairong Piwpan, who said the relevant evidence has already been submitted for examination to the Forensic Science Division.

Accompanied by her mother, the young woman filed a report with police last week, opening the door for others to come out of the dark in what may be Thailand’s largest #MeToo case to date.

3 more women break their silence, adding to claims of Prinn's alleged sexual abuse | News by Thaiger
Photo: Lawyer Sittra Biebangkerd presents alleged evidence of an audio recording to Lumphini police on Monday in Bangkok. Credit: Channel 3 via Kapook

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Kapook

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