Serious charges await bare-butts Americans
published : 29 Nov 2017 at 20:24
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
Police on Wednesday prepared serious computer crime and religious insult charges with possible imprisonment for two American men arrested at Don Mueang airport Tuesday night for posting photos of their bare buttocks taken at the Temple of Dawn.
Pol Col Jarupat Thongkomol, chief of the Bangkok Yai police station, said on Wednesday that both confessed to the act and had been fined 5,000 baht Tuesday night for getting naked in public. The fine was the heaviest permissible for the offence.
The station chief also said police were preparing more charges against the Americans, because they posted their photos on the internet and took photos of their naked body parts at a religious site.
They would be charged with violating the computer crime law for posting pornographic pictures online and breaching Section 206 of the criminal law concerning behaviour at a religious place that insults the religion, Pol Col Jarupat said.
The offence under the computer crime act is liable to a jail term of up to five years and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht. The wrongdoing under the criminal law concerning religious insults may result in a jail term of 1-7 years and/or a fine of 20,000-40,000 baht.
Both were detained at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok. Pol Col Jarupat said police were expanding their investigation into the couple's behaviour as police suspected they had committed similar offences at another religious site in Bangkok.
He later identified it at Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram (Golden Buddha temple) in Bangkok. The Buddhist temple houses the world's largest solid gold Buddha image.
After their arrest at Don Mueang airport Tuesday night, police identified the two as Joseph, 38, and Travis, 36.
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN) identified them in its report as Joseph Dasilva and Travis Dasilva, a married couple from San Diego's Hillcrest neighbourhood, and reported that they were seeking assistance from their city administration.
Media reported they had a social media account called "Traveling Butts" with similar pictures taken at various tourist destinations.