Outrage as Thai rape sentence slashed in half, raising questions about justice system

A Thai woman and her boyfriend questioned the justice system in Thailand after a Bangkok taxi driver’s rape sentence was reduced from six years to only three years. The victim suffered both physical and mental health damage as a consequence of the sexual assault.

The victim’s boyfriend shared the story about his girlfriend on Facebook on Thursday, May 11. He disclosed that his girlfriend was raped by a Grab taxi driver and the rapist was imprisoned for only three years because he confessed and it was his first crime.

The victim’s boyfriend expressed his profound disappointment, asserting that such a light sentence hardly reflects the severity of the crime committed.

The female victim, whose identity will be protected under the alias A, spoke to KhaoSod after her story went viral on Thai social media. A revealed that she hung out with her friend in the Thonglor neighbourhood of Bangkok one night on November 30 last year. Her boyfriend could not pick her up because he was drinking with friends, so she decided to take a taxi home.

A explained that she booked a taxi via the Grab application and the taxi that picked her up was a green-yellow taxi car with a registration number 1มค8199. She sent the detail of the taxi driver to her boyfriend and notified him that she was on the way home before falling asleep in the cab.

When she woke up, A noticed that the driver was taking her in the opposite direction of her intended destination. Growing concerned, she questioned the driver about the unfamiliar route. To her utter shock, the driver responded…

“I’m taking you to a love hotel.”

According to the victim, the driver did not take her to the hotel. He drove to a desolate area, tied her arms with his belt and raped her. She did not dare fight or scream for help because she was scared that it could provoke the driver into committing a more heinous act, even murder. The rapist then left her there and fled the scene.

A said she rushed to the hospital to get treatment and medical certification which led to the arrest of the rapist. Unfortunately, the court’s decision to reduce the penalty from six years to a mere three years in prison because he confessed.

A stated that his penalty was not strong enough for what he had done to her. She now suffers from PTSD and other diseases and has to live with the trauma of the rape. A said…

“I want him to be jailed for 20 years. I asked for it, but nothing. What if I ask for the death penalty for him? If he doesn’t deserve it, then I believe I do. Please kill me. It is killing me inside.”

A revealed that the immense emotional trauma resulted in her requiring extensive medical treatment, including the intake of 12 tablets daily and occasional electric shock therapy.

A has called upon the Move Forward Party to advocate for the revision of laws related to sexual assault. She believes that penalties for such acts should not be subject to reduction.

According to Section 278 of the Criminal Act, whoever commits an indecent act to a person, aged over 15 years old, by threatening, doing any act of violence, or taking advantage of that person who was inability to resist, shall be imprisoned for up to ten years or fined of up to 200,000 baht, or both.

May be an image of car and text that says "1มค 8199 O"

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.