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The man who wrote the bad reviews for Koh Chang’s Sea View Resort has a criminal record



PHOTO: Koh Chang's Sea View Resort -

In the ongoing stoush between the American, Wesley Barnes, and Koh Chang’s Sea View Resort, the story is now reaching way beyond Thailand’s borders, being reported in mainstream media around the world. Much of the media discussion has focused on whether it is appropriate to be able to sue people over a bad review with criminal defamation.

Defamation is a criminal offence in Thailand, and carries a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison, along with a 200,000 baht fine.

Now it’s come to light that Mr Barnes has been of interest to the US judicial system in the past, being accused of firing a weapon at a bar in Jackson County, Missouri (below).

But let’s get up to speed…

“A US man is facing up to two years in jail in Thailand after posting negative reviews of a hotel he stayed in. He was sued by the resort under the country’s strict anti-defamation laws.” – BBC

“An American man is facing two years in prison in Thailand after posting negative online reviews of a hotel resort.” – The Guardian

Wesley Barnes, who has been working in Thailand, posted a number of negative reviews on different platforms, including Trip Advisor, allegedly accusing the resort of “modern day slavery”, amongst other complaints. He stayed at the resort in June this year.

But the Sea View Resort, claims his criticism was “harsh”, untrue and damaging to the hotel’s reputation.

“The owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the TripAdvisor website.” – AFP

“Wesley Gene Barnes is an American citizen who worked as a teacher in Thailand while the world was battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He made headlines after posting a negative review of a resort in the Southeast Asian country.” – Conan Daily

The incident started with an argument over Mr Barnes bringing his own bottle of alcohol while dining in the resort’s restaurant. Arguments over the corkage fee “caused a commotion”, later sorted out by an on-duty manager. Since his stay at the resort earlier this year Mr Barnes has posted negative reviews of the property. Then the hotel sued him for defamation.

Mr Barnes was detained and says he spent two nights in prison before he was released on bail.

But this isn’t the first time Mr Barnes has come to the attention of police.

In the US there was an incident which is now public record. There was an official police complaint against 34 year old Wesley G. Barnes, signed off by JEAN PETERS BAKER, the Prosecuting Attorney Jackson County, Missouri, in October 2017.

The man who wrote the bad reviews for Koh Chang's Sea View Resort has a criminal record | News by Thaiger

You can read the full complaint HERE.

A Kansas City man accused of firing a weapon near Waldo Bar and later at a convenience store told people he was a federal agent prior to the initial incident, prosecutors said.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker charged Wesley G. Barnes, 34, with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action.

Barnes is accused of firing shots from a gun after leaving Waldo Bar about 1 a.m. Wednesday. The bar is near 75th Street and Wornall Road.

Read the rest of the story from The Kansas City Star HERE.

The man who wrote the bad reviews for Koh Chang's Sea View Resort has a criminal record | News by Thaiger

For its part, the Sea View Resort says that, following the reviews, they had received cancellations and inquiries about employee treatment. The management claims that it had told Mr Barnes repeatedly they “would not go ahead with pressing charges if he stopped writing new false reviews”.

“Despite our multiple efforts to contact him to resolve the matter in an amicable way for well over a month, he chose to ignore us completely. He only replied to us when he had been notified of our complaint by the authorities,” according to the BBC story.


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  1. Frank Leboeuf

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Gasp – from unlawful use of a weapon charges in the USA to posting harsh negative reviews on a Thai resort on TripAdvisor, what a slippery slope….

    What’s next? Jaywalking?

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9:41 pm

      The Thaiger seems to be going in for the character assassination on one person… where is the investigative journalism into the website that apparently facilitated all this, but seem to be ignored by the press… this site is looking increasingly like a tabloid.

      • Ynwaps

        Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm

        Changing laws is harder than simple assassination 😉

    • Michael Hunter

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 11:52 am

      This idiot clown with an uncontrollable temper should be jailed “forthwith”.

      He also receives the “Dumb Crook Award” for paying his bar tab with his wife’s credit card, and then returning a bit later to do a drive by shooting.

      It is also apparent that he did not receive much jail time in the United States from several felonious drive by shootings.

      Hey dude… try pulling this krap in Thailand.

      • Dick Tracey

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 8:35 am

        So IF this is the same Wesley G Barnes he has an outstanding warrant out for his arrest in Missouri according to the District Attorney’s office in Jackson county. The court case number is 1716-CR04395-01. IF the same person his court date was 1/1/2019 for which he did not appear. That would explain why it could be the same person. The DOB for the guy is 5/2/83 so it would make him about 37 yrs old. The case was a gun charge so this is a serious matter. How he was able to enter Thailand would be a good question and were his teaching documents vetted? Having said all that the defamation charge against him is crap and should be dropped.

        • Joe

          Monday, January 25, 2021 at 3:47 pm

          Wesley Gene Barnes is a dangerous man with a long criminal past. He should not be allowed to teach children in Thailand or anywhere else.

          BURGLARY & THEFT
          At the age of 17 Wesley Gene Barnes was arrested for three counts of burglary and theft in the state of Arkansas.

          Case Number: 35CR-01-398 State V Wesley Gene Barnes – 10-Feb-2001

          Case Number: 35CR-01-446 State V Wesley Gene Barnes – 24-May-2001

          Case Number: 35CR-01-592 State V Wesley Gene Barnes – 18-Jun-2001

          In 2004 Wesley Gene Barnes was convicted multiple times for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while suspended.

          8th May 2004, Case Number: 2004-TR-001219 | State of Kansas vs. Wesley G Barnes

          21st May 2004, Case Number: 2004-TR-001246 | State of Kansas vs. Wesley G Barnes

          In 2017 Wesley went on a drunken criminal rampage. Impersonating a federal agent, Wesley Gene Barnes whilst intoxicated, decided to start shooting up a bar. He later took shots at a gas station too. He was arrested and charged with a class b felony.

          Count I. Unlawful Use Of Weapon – Subsection 9 – Shoot At/from Motor Vehicle, At Person, Motor Vehicle Or Building (571.030-020Y20145213.0)

          He was arrested and released on bail. Wesley absconded whilst on bail and is now currently residing in Thailand, teaching english to children. This is a dangerous and wanted man in his home country.

          19th October 2017, State V Wesley Gene Barnes, Case Number: 1716-CR04395-01

          Wesley Gene Barnes is also wanted for breach of contract for not paying his debt to Capital One Credit Card. Possibly because he had already fled the country whilst running from his felony charges.

          23rd, November 2016, Capital One Bank (USA) V Wesley G Barnes,
          Case Number: 1616-CV27948

  2. JeremyPaul Cope

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:46 am

    ‘Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions.’ But not in this case. It stinks of vitriol and someone severely miffed and with a grievance – with no grounds. This tourist needs to behave himself when a guest in another country, pay the corkage and get a life! Meanwhile because of all this publicity, I look forward to trying out the Sun View Resort in the near future and no doubt having a splendid time. I shall likely select a bottle of wine from the wine list!

    • Issan John

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 1:30 am

      Or maybe he’s not the Wesley Barnes from Kansas sentenced to DUI after all, despite what other media say, as that one’s an “African American” …

      … or maybe he’s the Wesley Gene Barnes from Kansas who died last year …

      … or the Wesley Gene Barnes from Kansas who’s a teacher there …

      There’s clearly some seriously bad reporting going on in the media, including in the US, which is equally clearly not being given even a cursory check before being taken as gospel and repeated.


      • ron

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 3:09 am

        In civilised countries criminal records are treated confidentially and not being published.

        • Dick Tracy

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:07 pm

          Not true. You can easily go on government websites with a case number and chec the disposition.

        • Jeff

          Monday, October 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

          You don’t have a criminal record until there’s a conviction in a court of law. Likewise, killing someone isn’t murder until adjudicated as such. People are dupes.

      • Dick Tracy

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:05 pm

        Nope both are white.

    • Ynwaps

      Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      Wouldn’t go there because the hotel isn’t better. It’s a dick move destroying someone’s life instead of just replying to his review to show that he’s just bad tempered. The other good reviews would make up for it.
      The loss in revenue was brought upon them self. Next time think about how you treat your bad guests during and after stay. Every business has to deal with this.

  3. Alan

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 11:58 am

    An American nut case, a danger to the people. Take him to the cleaners and toss him out with a lifetime ban. Americans, don’t fit in, they just hang out with each other, stuck somewhere in the fifties and sixties.

    • Rick Murphy

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 1:13 am

      Although I don’t in any way defend this moron American, I disagree hugely with your assessment of Americans. I am an American who vacations in Thailand regularly. I love the Thai people and I have many many Thai friends of all sexes and ages. I also have many other friends from different countries. Unfortunately there are many morons from different countries who think they are better than others and they are the ones who give all of us non Thais a bad reputation.

      • Rolling Breeze

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:56 pm

        I agree with you Rick. No need to tar all Americans in Thailand because of this one American moron.

  4. Pieter Wilhelm

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    If true, claiming to be an officer of law and firing a weapon at a bar is a clear indication of the mindset of the individual in question.

  5. Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Firing guns at night in the street in Kansas City. I’ve been there. It is just high spirits and an old western tradition.
    You see at on the western movies all the time. lol
    The more this resort persists in this vindictive persecution, the more they will lose customers.
    The correct way would have been to contact TripAdvisor and asked for it to be taken off.
    But I guess they tried that and it failed. Maybe because TripAdvisor decided the review was true.
    This resort has dozens of one post excellent reviews from people who, never posted about anything else, and never posted again.
    Some from years ago.
    I claim THEY are untrue.

    • Garry Tissot

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Every restaurant or hotel is doing excellent reviewA for themselves. This story is not about a one star review. Accusing a resort of Slavery is like accusing an individual of rape. It is a very strong accusation and this jerk is having what he deserves.

  6. Andy

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    I’m really glad this jerk wasn’t British. But he is a falang and it doesn’t help our image in Thailand.

  7. Issan John

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    To be fair, unless tried then convicted (and neither seems to have happened) he doesn’t have a “criminal record”.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Convicted, tried and sent to prison.

      • Issan John

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 12:43 am

        There is nothing in any of your links to support that, nor is there anything to support it on the ‘net.

        Reading the charge sheet, the minimum sentence on the least charge is very clearly three years without the possibility of parole or early release. Other charges equally clearly have a minimum of five or ten years before any eligibility for release if found guilty.

        The charge sheet was dated 19 October 2017, so the earliest he could have been released, if only found guilty of the least charge, would be 19 October 2020 (next month).

        He has been in Thailand since March 2020, making it IMPOSSIBLE for him to have been “convicted, tried and sent to prison” on those charges.

        100% IMPOSSIBLE.

        Had you mentioned his reported earlier conviction and imprisonment for DUI instead that may have had some truth to it, but he clearly could NOT have been “convicted, tried and sent to prison” as you’ve claimed.

        • Dick Tracy

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:04 pm

          But not impossible to have fled the country

      • RR

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 8:10 pm

        Rather improbable, he would still be behind bars. Probably he fled before.

      • lootarzoon

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:10 pm

        Can you be very sure he is same cowboy? Can we get the 2 photos in the Us and in Thailande? Dates of birth at least?

  8. A Sea View fan

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    The management of the hotel is very amateurish. They have done real damage to their reputation by not being able to handle a troll without threatening him with jail time. In the civilised world, this is not ok. I have been to this hotel many times. Last time a few months ago, the quality had really dropped. The management should really worry about this and not going after one star reviews.

  9. Ben

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Barnes doesn’t know Thai law and he made a bad assumption which landed him in trouble. That the law doesn’t make sense, from an American perspective, is irrelevant. He escalated a situation and received an escalated response in return.

    His desire to punish the hotel caused its Thai owners to lose face. I hope he realizes that continuing to escalate and plead his case will not serve him well. If he wants to avoid a harsh punishment I’d advise him to de-escalate and figure out a way to apologize and make amends.

    The overwhelming majority of Americans will still come to Thailand and remember they’re in a foreign country, need to behave themselves and stay under the radar.

  10. Issan John

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 1:03 am

    It’s either a different person, or he was found not guilty, or the charges were dropped / dismissed.

    According to the charge sheet, the minimum sentence on the least of the firearm charges is three years before eligibility for early release.

    The charge sheet is dated 19 October 2017.

    This is seriously bad reporting – and, rather ironically, obviously defamation.

  11. Petr

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 2:29 am

    What is interesting, in many **** or ***** reviews (also in Russian, for example) you can read about the perfect hotel, nice place, etc., but about the rude, terrible and unfriendly staff. Imprison them too!

  12. Wayne Arrington

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:36 am

    I had a reservation at this resort last May but was unable to travel from the US. Regrettably I had to cancel. As soon as I am able to return to Thailand I will be re-booking….

  13. Issan John

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:45 am

    Not true. Read your own links.

    Either it was a different Wesley Gene Barnes, or he was found not guilty / the charges were dismissed.

    The minimum sentence for the least of the offences according to the charge sheet given in your links was three years before he could be released from jail. The charge sheet is dated 19 October 2017, so if “convicted, tried and sent to prison” he would still be in prison.

  14. Malcolm R.

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Wow, you are disgusting! You’ve gone from a ‘news source’ that covers average stories to one that is digging up someone’s criminal past. A past that has NOTHING to do with why he is being targeted by a shady Thai hotel.

    Literally, fuck you. Last time I read the Thaiger as I don’t read garbage only written to gain views.

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      I’ve been finding myself reading the other two outlets for phuket and for southeast asia, because this one is written by morons. I suspect they will publish the negative reviews in the comments on a story about outfits losing it badly in public over a bad review – hiding bad reviews is Trumpism.

    • Robert Elliot

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      How do you know its Thaiger digging up and releasing this info?
      They are only reporting it.

    • Peter

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Calm down wesley

  15. RR

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    A Republican, probably.

  16. johndoe

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    So what is the source it is the same person? Where is your proof stated it is the same guy? May be true but piss poor reporting.

  17. johdoe

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    The arraignment was in Oct of 2017. The minimum sentence is 5 yrs. This is Oct 2020 and the guy has been teaching in Thailand for how long? Lets see Oct 2017 to Oct 2020 is hmm 3 yrs. So what is the story here? Very poor reporting here and from the Kansas City Star it would seem.

  18. barry

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Speaking of bad business online, what happened to these dudes advocating violence against foreigners on FB page a while back?

  19. James Pate

    Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 6:00 am

    OK, you showed us the criminal complaint from KC. Now, how about showing us the court’s decision?

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