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Democrat deputy leader quits party to fight accusations of sexual harassment

Pete

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Credit ปริญญ์ พานิชภักดิ์ - Prinn Panitchpakdi Facebook page

Thailand’s Democrat deputy leader, Prinn Panitchpakdi, announced his full and immediate resignation from the party on Thursday, in order to fight claims of sexual harassment claims, which he is denying. As of today, about 20 people have reported to police accusing Prinn of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or rape, according to Khaosod.

During a press conference yesterday afternoon, he appeared stunned by the charges, but swore to fight the allegations. He has claimed that he has no choice but to resign from his role, so he can focus on addressing the allegations…

“I insist I am innocent. I deny all allegations. They are groundless. Although what happened is a personal matter, it affects the Democrats. This is not true. People who know me also know that I am not that kind of person.”

As the allegations impact his responsibilities in the Democrat party, he has decided to resign in order to “protect the party’s name and to defend himself in court”. He declined to give any further details or explanation, and said he will speak with authorities to proceed with legal actions.

Anna Vidhyaphum is one of his accusers and the first woman to publicly accuse Prinn of rape. In an exclusive interview with Khaosod English today, the fellow politician, 30, said she had concealed the incident, which she alleged happened at his apartment on March 22 last year.

But when she heard yesterday’s reports that other women were accusing Prinn of sexual misconduct, she realized it was the same man. She said she felt obliged to come out publicly and file a police report on Thursday, in order to “break the cycle and expose the man.”

“I was raped. I didn’t consent. I didn’t think he would be a crook. He’s well dressed, educated and is socially known. I didn’t think he would
have done that. But he did and no one could do anything.”

Sittha Biabangkerd, a lawyer, claims that an 18 year old woman, whose identity has not been revealed, had approached him about alleged sexual harassment by the Democrat deputy leader, according to a Facebook post. He said that many other women had contacted him seeking legal advice, claiming that the politician had allegedly sexually harassed them for years.

The abuse, for which he is yet to be charged, allegedly took place in a Bangkok hotel restaurant. The woman’s mother took her to the Lumphini police station to file the complaint.

The lawyer said the politician had approached the family of one of his accusers, but he couldn’t confirm whether or not a report had been filed with the Lumpini police station.

SOURCE: Thai PBS | Bangkok Post

 

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