Tuk-tuk driver denies tourist rape

PATONG (Gazette, Kom Chad Luek): A tuk-tuk driver arrested yesterday afternoon has denied raping a 20-year-old female Australian tourist in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Pol Col Teeraphol Thipjareon, Superintendent of Kathu District Police Station, today told the Gazette, “The suspect has admitted that he took the woman back to her hotel on the night in question but he denies raping her.”

Col Teeraphol declined to comment further.

However, Thai-language daily newspaper Kom Chad Luek yesterday reported that a friend of the alleged victim had told police that before the incident they had been drinking around Soi Bangla.

Just after midnight they hailed a tuk-tuk from the end of the soi and lifted the woman, who was having difficulty walking, into the back of the vehicle, the report said.

The friends gave the driver 500 baht, telling him to take the woman back to the Merlin Beach Resort at Tritrang Beach, where they were staying. When they arrived back at the hotel, they knocked on the woman’s door to check that she had arrived safely, said the report.

The woman, in tears, said that the driver had raped her at a secluded spot at Tritrang Beach. After he had finished raping her, he took her back to her hotel, the report said.

The report also said that doctors at Patong Hospital, who also declined to give comment to the Gazette, had examined the victim, and told police that the woman had grazes on both elbows and traces of semen in her vagina and underwear. A sample of the semen was taken as evidence.

Two of the woman’s friends who had hired the tuk-tuk for her were asked by officers at Kathu District Police Station to try to identify the assailant from a book of photos of Patong tuk-tuk drivers, the report said.

One of the friends was able to pick out the alleged attacker and photos of the man were distributed to police throughout the beach resort town.

Phuket News
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