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The morning after



The morning after | Thaiger

NAKHON PATHOM: The 47-year-old host of a wedding ceremony in Nakhon Chaisri District currently stands accused of twice raping a 98-year-old neighbor while drunk. A report of the alleged rape was made on July 18 by Nakhon Chaisri District Police Deputy Superintendent Surapoj Phisuttiwong, who identified the alleged rapist as Udon Som-in, a native of Ubon Ratchathani Province. Udon was living in Nakhon Chaisri, earning a living as a collector and retail vendor of jasmine flowers, which he sold in bulk to local garland makers. He had arranged a wedding ceremony and reception for his 21-year-old son Wisun to a girl identified only as “Daeng”. The party began in the early evening of July 16, and proud father Udon celebrated by drinking whisky with his guests – drinking so much, in fact, that the rest of the evening was impossible to recall when he awoke the following day. On July 17, a neighbor identified only as “Nok” appeared at the Nakhon Chaisri Police Station with her 98-year-old mother to file a criminal complaint against Udon on charges of “raping a woman who is not your wife”. Nok, 57, went on to explain that, at about 10:30 pm, her neighbor Udon had left the party and went into his home, where Nok’s 98-year-old mother, a guest at the party, was sleeping under a mosquito net with Nok’s four-year-old niece. Udon then allegedly picked up the old lady, carried her out to a stand of banana trees 15 meters behind the house, and raped her twice. After the assault, the victim somehow found the strength to stand and tried to make her way back to the house. But she lost her balance and fell into a drainage ditch, from where she called for help. Fortunately, she was rescued by neighbors. Dazed, she went back into the house and fell asleep without telling her neighbors about what had transpired. “The next morning,” said Nok, “my mother told me what had happened. At first I didn’t believe her. She is very old, has a poor memory and talks nonsense much of the time – in fact nobody can make sense of anything she says except me. So I kept asking her to repeat what had happened and it was the same every time: ‘Udon carried me out behind the house and raped me – twice.'” As for Udon, after his arrest he told police he was so drunk he couldn’t remember anything. That being the case, he decided the most prudent course of action was to deny everything. Faced with conflicting testimony from two less-than-solid witnesses, police sent the victim to Nakhon Chaisri Hospital to check for signs of rape. Doctors found semen and at last report were testing it to see whether it had come from Udon. Meanwhile, newlywed Daeng declared her marriage to Wisun null and void after Wisun went to the police station to look after his father. According to a local custom, marriage can be considered final only after the bride and groom have spent at least two days and two nights together in the same room.


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