Serial rape suspect arrested

Police have arrested a 23-year-old alleged serial rapist after a woman was assaulted and killed and her body dumped near the home of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in the Bang Kapi area.

Sootthee Boonprom, a motorcycle taxi driver, who worked at Soi Happy Land Sai 1, was brought to a press briefing at Metropolitan Police headquarters on Monday after police arrested him at a Buddhist temple in Phetchabun’s Lom Sak district.

Mr Sootthee was accused of murdering a 20-year-old passenger Arpassara Todej, whose body was found on the roadside in Soi Pho Kaew 3 that runs through abandoned fields, near Ms Yingluck’s residence early in the morning of last Monday.

The suspect allegedly confessed to his crime and admitted to committing two rapes, in which one of them he was an accomplice, and a failed rape attempt -- all since September last year.

He had not been arrested because the victims, mostly his passengers, did not file complaints with police because of embarrassment, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said. 

The suspect said he left the monkhood just two months ago and worked as a motorcycle taxi driver. He said he had drunk alcohol before he met Arpassara who asked him to take her to a 7-11 convenience store last Sunday night. He said the woman was good looking and he took her to a desolate soi and asked to have sex with her. She refused and he beat her until she passed out. The suspect took her to another place and tried to have sex with her when she woke up. He then bashed her head on a rock, killing her, and then raped her. Mr Soothee told police he did not intend to kill the woman, just knock her unconscious again.

Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit said an investigation found evidence of previous sadistic sexual behaviour involving Mr Soothee. He had several common-law wives and had physically assaulted all of them, especially when under the influence of alcohol. 

“If we had not arrested this suspect, more women might have become his victims,” Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit said.

Photo by Veera Phothapiwat

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Writer: Veera Phothapiwat